FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Tuesday, Jan. 31 will be another day of dangerous travel conditions in the River Valley and in Northwest Arkansas.
Icy conditions Monday kept state police extremely busy as they reportedly responded to 25 wrecks along Interstate 540.
Dave Parker with the Arkansas Department of Transportation said road crews have been treating the interstates since Sunday night in both Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley, but even with the pre-treatment, there were 15 accidents in Washington County yesterday morning.
To help avoid more wrecks, Parker said ARDOT is pulling in extra road crews from the southwest part of the state to focus on the River Valley, but even with the extra hands, he said driving on ice is nearly impossible.
“With four-wheel drive you can get traction on a couple of inches of snow, but you still have to take it easy. With ice, you can’t do anything. I don’t care what you’re driving, it’s slipping and sliding and dangerous. So this is not a good system,” said Parker.
Parker said ice creates more issues than just slick roads, it’ll knock tree limbs down on the roadways and make visibility worse. So he said along with salt and plows, crews are also equipped with chainsaws.
Parker said crews continue to lay down a salt brine mixture, straight salt, and beet juice to try and see what will best lower the temperature of the ice so plows can come by and remove it from roadways.
“Let me stress here, even though we’re going to get out there and we feel like we’ve got a pretty good handle on things, ice is completely different. So you may see that exit ramp or that bridge or overpass and it looks perfectly clean and clear, and it’s actually a small patch of ice,” said Parker.
He added that it won’t be possible to remove every piece of ice on the roads.
If you drove in the snow last week, Parker said the ice doesn’t even compare. Last week, ARDOT recommended drivers slow down if they have to drive, but now, the advice is to just stay home.
In Washington County, there were 15 wrecks reported Monday morning because of the ice.
Here are some sleet accumulation totals according to the National Weather Service:
- Fayetteville – 0.6 inches
- Bentonville – 0.8 inches
- Rogers – 1.4 inches
- Harrison – 0.5 inches
- Bella Vista – 1.0 inches
County sheriffs across NWA and the River Valley are asking everyone who is able to stay home.