Arkansas Governor Declares Statewide Emergency

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I-540 bridge near Mountainburg

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe declared a statewide emergency Thursday because of severe winter weather, according to a statement released by the governor.

In addition to the declaration, the governor has also released $100,000 from the state’s Disaster Fund to help with response to the winter weather.

The announcement comes the same day sleet and snow rolled into the state, causing dozens of car crashes in which many people have been hospitalized. The winter weather is expected to extend into Friday.

“Combined with additional proclamations, this will ease restrictions on utility crews, fuel haulers and propane deliveries during the winter storm,” the governor’s statement reads. “With freezing rain expected throughout the workday tomorrow in Central Arkansas, Beebe has also declared that only essential personnel will report to work at state offices in the Little Rock Metropolitan Area on Friday.”

The statement goes on, “Agency directors and area supervisors will determine who those employees are.”