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Eastern Arkansas deals with broken power lines, ice-covered bridges, and traffic jams for miles from ice storm

“We always try to prepare for war during a time of peace," says West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon.

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Arkansas drivers woke up to a chill realization on Tuesday - the first round of the ice storm came and went, however it left its mark. While some roads were clear, others were anything but.

People driving through St. Francis County saw broken power lines, ice lining the bridges, and traffic backed up for miles on I-40. The area around mile marker 260 was hit especially hard before clearing up around 10 a.m. later Tuesday morning.

However a county over in Crittenden roads were clear. West Memphis worked with ARDOT to treat the main roads, service roads and interstate. The city maintained the back streets and city roads. 

After last year’s ice storm, city officials began incorporating the lessons they learned, and began preparing in the even it happened again. The city has invested in six new emergency management vehicles with all wheel drive, and additional two more on the way.

“We always try to prepare for war during a time of peace, and what I mean by that is we have definitely been a city, when major storms come through, besides this last past flood, we have been pretty prepared for,” said West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon.

During the year there continue to be ongoing efforts to prepare the city for natural disasters. West Memphis utilities focus on cutting down tree limbs that could damage power lines during potential ice storms.

“When it comes down to flooding and these ice storms, or possibly a tornado, we are definitely prepared and we're trying to do what's necessary. But we also want the people of West Memphis to play their part as well and help us help make them safe,” said Mayor McClendon.

West Memphis is asking drivers to remain at home if they can help it, and stay safe, especially with another round of freezing rain on the horizon.

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