Dangerously low temperatures continue Sunday as winter storm arrives

Major snow possible, 120-year-old record low could snap Tuesday

Zach's Sunday Evening Forecast (2/14)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - People in Region 8 woke up to temperatures in the teens and single digits Sunday morning, and wind chills in some places below zero.

The winter weather arrived in the Batesville area around 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Sunday morning, Entergy Arkansas reported some power outages across the area. The most customers affected were in Mississippi County.

According to the Entergy outage map, about 1,400 customers were without power statewide Sunday evening.

Sporadic outages were also reported in Crittenden, Fulton and Mississippi counties, Entergy said as of 10:15 p.m. Sunday.

Craighead Electric reported around 50 customers were without power Sunday morning, with the majority in Lawrence County. By lunchtime, the power had been restored to all customers.

Jonesboro City Water and Light also reported about 230 customers were without power by mid Sunday morning, from North Church Street to Rogers to Creath Avenue, according to the utility’s website.

We have an outage in north Jonesboro. Refer to our outage map in post below. Crews are on site and working to restore as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience. Thanks!

Posted by City Water and Light of Jonesboro on Sunday, February 14, 2021

By 4:45 p.m., power had been restored to all customers with the outage.

Jake Rice, an official with CWL, said crews were busy around 8 a.m. Sunday after a car struck a utility pole. Crews made some adjustments around 4 p.m. Sunday, which caused power to temporarily go out for about 1,000 customers from North Main Street to East Washington Avenue.

The power was restored in about 20 minutes, Rice said.

As for the possibility of more winter weather, Rice said crews are on standby with equipment ready. CWL also has a contractor on standby just in case they are needed if the weather is bad.

As of 10:15 p.m. Sunday, CWL had about 100 customers without power, mainly in northeast Jonesboro.

However, power was restored by 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

North Arkansas Electric also reported sporadic outages Sunday afternoon in their coverage area, near Salem.

Centerpoint Energy is also asking Arkansans to lower their thermostats to help conserve gas supplies for the company.

In anticipation of high heating demand in response to the extremely cold temperatures, CenterPoint Energy is asking its Arkansas customers to temporarily lower their thermostat settings to help conserve natural gas. The utility serves about 400,000 residential and business customers in Arkansas. CenterPoint Energy is asking its customers, if possible, to reduce their thermostat settings to 60-65 degrees during the day when at home – and lower the setting an additional 5-10 degrees when asleep or away from home – through Thursday, Feb. 18. This step can help ensure that all customers continue to have gas service to stay safe and warm during the intensely cold weather. If a customer experiences a loss of gas service, they should contact the utility at 800-992-7552. CenterPoint Energy apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks its customers for all their energy conservation efforts at this challenging time.
Spokesman Ross Corson with Centerpoint Energy in an email to Region 8 News

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas are also asking people to conserve energy due to the weather.

According to the group’s Facebook page, the group, which includes Craighead Electric, is asking customers to conserve energy through midnight Tuesday to make sure power is not interrupted.

Entergy Arkansas also reported Sunday that additional crews will be working to help people impacted by the storms.

Meteorologist Bryan McCormick said Friday the Arctic outbreak will challenge long-standing cold weather records.

“In a time of year where afternoon sunshine carries us into the 50s, we will struggle to reach the low 20s through the middle of next week,” he said.

The weather system could drop major amounts of snow in the area, McCormick said Sunday.

With steady northerly winds, he added that overnight lows falling into the single digits will feel even colder.

“In fact, ‘feels like’ temperatures at 9-10 degrees below zero will pose a significant danger to the unprepared,” McCormick warned.

This comes as the region copes with treacherous roads and sidewalks following this week’s ice storm.

The weather could also bring thunder and lightning Monday to the area, McCormick said.

Both McCormick and Meteorologist Zach Holder said the area could reach historic lows Monday and Tuesday, including breaking a nearly 120-year record low Tuesday.

Snow is expected to move into Region 8 during the day on Sunday. Region 8 StormTEAM meteorologists expect to see two waves of snow, one Sunday evening and into Sunday night and another on Monday.

When it comes to timing, snow showers could begin in the southwestern part of Region 8 by early afternoon. Snow showers will then overspread the area by Sunday evening.

There are still indications there will be a break before the second round of snow moves in Sunday morning. That round will bring most of the accumulating snow to the area.

The Region 8 StormTEAM is still going with a range of 3-6″ over the western half of the area and 4-8″ in the east.

For those who must travel this Valentine’s Day weekend, Jonesboro and Craighead County E911 Director Jeff Presley advises carrying an emergency supply kit.

He provided this infographic of items motorists should pack in case they find themselves stranded:

For those who must travel this Valentine’s Day weekend, Jonesboro and Craighead County E911 Director Jeff Presley advises carrying an emergency supply kit.
For those who must travel this Valentine’s Day weekend, Jonesboro and Craighead County E911 Director Jeff Presley advises carrying an emergency supply kit. (Source: Jonesboro & Craighead Co. E911)

Warming Shelters

For those looking for a warm place to stay, a few warming shelters have opened.

  • Earl Bell Community Center, 1212 S. Church, open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Allen and Parker Parks, open 3:30-9 p.m. weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday

Jonesboro city officials said Sunday that the JETS bus system will be closed Monday due to the weather.

The Salvation Army:

Kennett:

There are several shelters available in the Kennett area.

According to the Kennett Office of Emergency Management Facebook page, they include Safehaven, 1201 Ely Road, for homeless individuals and stranded motorists if needed; Abundant Life Assembly, 1902 St. Francis St. and Slicer Street Church of Christ, 310 Slicer Street.

Abundant Life Assembly and Slicer Street Church of Christ will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. as daytime warming centers.

Paragould:

Several warming centers also opened Sunday in Paragould.

According to a post on the Paragould Police Department Facebook page, Greater Vision Church and Eastside Baptist Church are working together on a shelter between Sunday afternoon and Feb. 19.

The shelter, at 529 East Court St., will be open 24 hours a day.

The city is opening the Labor Park building from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. this week for people to warm up and Mission Outreach will be open for hot meals, police said.

**Warming Stations for the city of Paragould** As frigid temperatures are upon us, with heavy snowfalls coming in two...

Posted by Paragould Police Department on Sunday, February 14, 2021

Pets

Outside animals are also at risk.

The Northeast Arkansas Humane Society warns the cold weather we’re expecting can kill outdoor pets.

“Please, bring them inside or make suitable provisions to keep them warm, dry, and out of the wind,” they said.

Power outages

You can also check out the power outages for area utility providers by going here:

Region 8 StormTEAM Coverage

The Region 8 StormTEAM will track this advancing Arctic blast and provide live updates on-air and online:

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