- Associated Press - Monday, February 16, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas safety and transportation officials on Monday said the fallout from sleet and snow wasn’t as bad as officials feared after temperatures dropped more than 40 degrees in two days.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said troopers didn’t report any fatal or serious crashes in the morning hours as temperatures dropped to about 25 degrees in Little Rock. He said officers were primarily responding to vehicles sliding off of the road.

An Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman said the agency expected a lot more trouble than what materialized.

“It seems like we maybe dodged a bullet that was seemingly heading this way,” spokesman Rick Fahr said Monday morning.

Temperatures plummeted from the 70s in central Arkansas on Saturday to a high of 38 degrees Sunday. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning.

Senior Forecaster John Lewis of North Little Rock said northwest Arkansas and along the Missouri border were hit the hardest, with 4 to 5 inches of snow. Other parts of the state received about 1 to 2 inches of snow and sleet.

Lewis warned that temperatures will remain freezing across most of the state.

“The best advice is to stay off the roads altogether,” Lewis said. “If you have to travel, take it slow.”

Entergy Arkansas estimated about 26,500 customers were without power late Monday afternoon. The majority of the outages were in southwest Arkansas. Entergy brought in about 1,000 reserve workers from outside the state to help restore power.

At Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, 45 of 70 scheduled flights were canceled. Some flights resumed Monday evening and airlines planned to be on schedule Tuesday, spokesman Shane Carter said. Carter said extra crews were on hand to clear the airfields and parking lots.

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department spokesman Randy Ort said no state highways were closed due to the weather. He said accidents on Interstate 55 and Interstate 40 caused some traffic delays.

Ort said freezing temperatures could keep roadways slick and also warned drivers to stay home.

“We’ll continue to work around the clock until this is over but we’re not going to see much help from Mother Nature for the next few days,” Ort said.


Associated Press writer Andrew DeMillo contributed to this report.

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