Early Snowfall Prompts Road Crews for Long Night

HIGHLAND (KAIT)-Through the debris of last month's storms it was a new sight on Thursday--snow and a lot of it.

Just after noon, large snowflakes shifted the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department into high gear.

Road crews began loading up with sand and getting shovels ready for scraping.

As they left to begin the staging process, we hopped along for the ride.

"We're trying to keep the roads cleaned off and keep them safe for the motorists to travel on."

David Bailey has worked for the department for nearly 17 years and says every winter weather event is different.

"We've had several bad ones since I've been here. You never know how bad it's going to be," said Bailey.

But it's preparation that is the goal of his department, and they have a plan of action when winter weather hits.

"All of the main roads out here, we try to pretty much get those cleared and keep those clean. The secondary roads will kind of come after the primary roads," said Bailey.

We got into Highland just around lunch time Thursday, and in a matter of two hours there was already a half an inch to an inch of snow.

That means it's going to be a long night ahead for those working to keep us safe.

"When you are at home, you are on call for bad weather, so you have to stay by the phone. You just pretty much have to put everything else on hold, just in case they call. You've got to be ready to go," said Bailey.

But being ready to go is all just part of the job, whether it's rain, shine, or even snow.

"This is our job. This is what we are supposed to be doing, and this is what we will be doing," said Bailey.

Bailey stressed just how important it is for people to stay off the roadways when warnings a have been issued about dangerous driving conditions.

He says most of the accidents he sees while out working is because of people being careless behind the wheel.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.