Arkansas Weather

The state Department of Emergency Management says 13 Arkansas counties are included in a federal disaster declaration requested following a winter storm in early December.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Monday it will make public assistance grants available to communities for emergency work to repair or replace facilities that were damaged in the storm.

Counties included in the order are Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Newton, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp and Van Buren.

storms
Associated Press

The year of 2013 was marked by cooler temperatures and normal amounts of  severe weather in Arkansas. That’s according to an annual report released by the National Weather Service. Although late snowfalls in the northwest, deadly flash flooding in the west, drought in the southeast and 34 tornadoes did enter the picture, Meteorologist John Lewis of the NWS says last year was relatively mild.

Governor Mike Beebe is seeking a federal disaster declaration that would make 15 Arkansas counties eligible for federal aid to help area recover from wintry weather earlier this month.  Beebe says he's seeking a major disaster declaration for Crawford, Franklin, Independence, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Polk, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Sharp, and Van Buren counties.   

Forecasters say much of Arkansas is at risk Saturday for severe weather, including tornadoes, while other areas could see flash floods from heavy rainfall.

The Storm Prediction Center says Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi and eastern Texas are at risk for severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes Saturday.

Forecasters say severe weather is most likely in southeast Arkansas in areas south and east of De Queen and West Memphis.

Frank Burggraf
Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

As many as 60,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas were without power at one point this past weekend because of the winter storm.

Above-ground electrical transmission and distribution lines are vulnerable to failure from heavy wet snow, dense ice and high winds.

Some advocates say it’s time to move those lines underground.  But that is much more expensive and many utility customers don't want to pay higher electric bills.

Jacqueline Froelich with Fayetteville station KUAF has a look at the debate.  You can hear her report above.

The Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Pulaski County Special School Districts are closed Monday.

UALR will open at noon. Pulaski Tech is closed. UCA's inclement weather policy is in effect.

All UAMS college classes start at noon and the inclement weather policy is in effect for UAMS non-essential employees.

Governor Mike Beebe reports state employees will operate on a two-hour delay today.

The City of Little Rock plans to open all city offices at noon.

Sleet, freezing rain and snow fell across Arkansas Friday, leading to slippery and slushy roadways and power outages in many areas. The National Weather Service says temperature will continue to drop and the likelihood for more icy precipitation will linger into the weekend.

“We will see low temperatures [Friday night] in the central Arkansas area between 10 and 17 degrees,” says NWS Meteorologist Jeff Hood.

More than 37,000 homes and businesses are without electricity as a wintry storm hits the state.

Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative of Ozark reported about 12,000 outages Friday morning, while SWEPCO had more than 11,000 outages in northwest Arkansas in Sebastian, Polk, Scott and Logan counties. Oklahoma Gas and Electric reported an additional 2,000 outages in Fort Smith, 1,200 outages in Charleston and more than 1,100 in Lavaca.

Clinton National Airport
Malcolm Glover / KUAR

Freezing rain, sleet and snow are forcing the cancelations of several flights at Arkansas airports. 

A dozen flights were canceled Friday morning at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, while six flights were canceled at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill. 

Another five flights were canceled Friday at Fort Smith Regional Airport. Much of Arkansas is under an ice storm warning or winter storm warning Friday as a large storm system hits the state.

Arkansas Highway Crews Prepare To Clear Slick Roads

Dec 6, 2013

Winter weather is expected to cause some problems for commuters as they try to navigate state roadways this weekend. Road crews are readying equipment so they will be prepared to treat icy highways in central Arkansas.

Danny Straessle works with the state highway department. He says a good mixture of sand and salt is on standby to aid de-ice efforts for area bridges and overpasses.

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