February 10, 2006 - 7:22 pm CST
JONESBORO, AR -- Much of Region 8 is experiencing the first snowfall of the year. The snow started falling around 10:00 a.m. on Friday morning in Jonesboro , but the crews who clear the roads were ready long before that.
"Our guys started getting ready on Thursday. We had most of the snow plows already affixed to the trucks and the salt spreaders already on and they've been preparing this morning. Most of our crews are already out right now," said Joe Barnett with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.
Once the snow starts coming down road crews hit the streets doing their part to keep you and your family safe. "Once it started snowing we got the rest of our equipment loaded and they're already out trying to get what's accumulating on the bridges.
The substance used to help melt snow from the roadways is a mixture of salt, sand, and calcium chloride. Officials with both the City of Jonesboro and the State of Arkansas say their crews get the job done.
"We have a pretty good group of guys that do their best to get the snow off the road," said Teddy Hooton, Street Superintendent for the City of Jonesboro . "Our crews understand that this is a part of their jobs and it is a sacrifice," said Barnett.
It's a sacrifice that, for these workers, can last late into the night and early into the morning. "With the forecast for Friday night, we've already made preparations for a night crew. We're pretty sure we're going to have to have them," said Barnett.
For those of us who appreciate the sheer beauty of the snow, we're not alone, the road crews like it too… for a little while. "There's a little excitement in the first few hours but it gets a little old after that," said Barnett.
As for motorists, what do you need to do to stay safe on the roadways? "People need to monitor the conditions of the roads. If the roads get bad, and we anticipate that they will, they need to avoid travel if they can. If they must travel they need to slow down and use caution," said Barnett.
Road crews will clear the snow the roadways as quickly as they can. "If the trucks are out working do not get too close they have a job to do," said Hooton.