Cold winds and below freezing temperatures caused Tuesday’s rain and snow to turn to ice and hard snow overnight.
River Valley residents can expect to encounter ice on sidewalks and side roads. The main roads in Fort Smith were mostly clear Wednesday morning.
More than 200 employees from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department worked nonstop from the early hours Christmas through Wednesday morning. Trucks cleared snow and slush from the roads and spread salt and sand to improve traction for vehicles.
Joe Shipman from the AHTD said traffic was light on Tuesday due to the holiday but is expected to pick up on Wednesday as people head back to work.
“[People need to] leave in plenty of time to get to their destination and expect delays in doing so,” said Shipman.
Drivers can winterize their vehicles with a few key items.
“Motorists might carry a small amount of sand – some people use kitty litter – for traction should they have difficulty on the roadway,” Shipman said. He also recommends keeping blankets and snacks in case the car gets stuck.
Fort Smith police report there were no weather-related accidents overnight.