Icy weather leads to long morning for Arkansas residents

Ice covered cars in Jonesboro before dawn.
Ice covered cars in Jonesboro before dawn.

By Lori Brown - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (WMC-TV) - Icy weather moved into eastern Arkansas overnight, creating an icy mess that inconvenienced motorists even before dawn.

Black ice along Interstate 55 near Turrell was likely the cause of a wreck between two tractor trailers.  One jack-knifed, while the other took a beating.  Though the interstate did not look slick, many motorists said it was.

Meanwhile in Jonesboro, ice encased cars before dawn, keeping out drivers until they could break through.

The icy conditions led Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe to declare a state of emergency. The declaration made early Friday makes up to $20,000 from the Governor's Disaster Fund available to the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Beebe also put in place his Inclement Weather Policy in which only state employees designated as essential are required to report for work.

The Arkansas National Guard had personnel and supplies ready to go for emergency response.

The ice and wind created a dangerous mix on Arkansas roads, but for some, there was no choice but to drive.

Jason Pendergrass, an employee at Nestle in Jonesboro, left work to find his car covered in ice.

"It's going to be a long drive home," he laughed.

Pendergrass said his drive home normally takes an hour, but Friday he was planning for it to take two - not including the time spent scraping ice off his vehicle.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this report.