Winter Weather Hits Early in Region 8

January 31, 2007 - Posted at 9:22 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- Winter weather has hit Region 8 and it's creating a mess all over Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.  Snow started falling earlier then expected this afternoon and that left many motorists scrambling to get home.

The K8 Storm Team predicted that the weather mix would hit the Jonesboro area early this evening and when flakes started falling just before 2:00... Folks trying to get home and rush hour traffic made for a dangerous mix.

"It has been very busy we've had numerous accidents throughout the day since it first started around 2:00.  We've been busy taking calls, one right after another," said Jonesboro Police Officer Jeremy Parnell.

And with good reason...winter weather hit Region 8 early Wednesday afternoon, causing chaos nearly everywhere.

"It all came at once and everybody decided that they wanted to leave at once and it caused congestion everywhere so there was no place to go in town that wasn't congested," said Officer Parnell.

"It's all ice, it's all ice. If we hadn't have had to have some gas, I wouldn't be out here right now.   And I wouldn't have needed the gas if I hadn't spent an hour in traffic....its cold out there!" said driver Dale McCrosky.

"Take it slow.  It's terrible out here.  It's a solid sheet of ice south of Jonesboro and I'm just told that it's getting worse.  I've seen a lot of cars in the ditch," said Tim Coy, who spent more than four hours driving from Little Rock.

And advice for those traveling...avoid it at all costs.

"If all possible, if they could just stay home. If you are out tonight, then just be sure to use caution and don't drive fast and just basically leave enough room to stop between the two cars," advised Officer Parnell.

If you do have to go in to work Thursday, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time and travel slowly.

Traffic was backed up for miles along U.S. Highway 63 and basically every major road around Jonesboro earlier today.  Motorist reported that it took about two hours to get from one side of town to another.  With the grounds freezing quickly as the snow continued to fall, it wasn't hard for vehicles to lose traction and end up in the ditch.