Road Crews Prepared

FEBRUARY 1, 2007 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- One of the biggest concerns with this snow in Region 8 has been the roadways and when you're the highway department, people turn to you for their solution to fix the icy roads.

"We thought it was going to come a little bit later, so we were doing some regular maintenance, but we had trucks close and we were able to get right to the problems," says Steve Leath with the Arkansas State Highway Department.

Just like everyone else in Region 8, the highway department was caught a little off guard when the snowfall came early.

"When it first started, the first couple of hours everybody kind of panicked out there. Cars were running off the road and the state police was calling us wanting us to get out there and get the roads cleaned off for everybody," says Chris Kelly, part of the road crew with the state highway department.

But once that first flake stuck to the ground, Steve Leath, the supervisor for the highways in Craighead County says they had crews out the door.

"We actually worked all night. We started when the snow started and we worked continuously all night and through the day today," says Leath.

They've already made a big dent in their sand pile and they say since the storm started Wednesday they've probably already used 60 loads of the sand/salt chemical mixture. They say the combination of a little sun Thursday morning and a lot of sand and salt on the roads is keeping them ahead of the game and ready if round 2 is on the way.

"Changing the blades, checking the chloride on the machines, filling all the trucks up and gassing them and making sure all the lights work, for our safety and everything else," adds Chris Kelly.