Ice and snow struck the Northwest Arkansas area hard Thursday, leading to slick roads and traffic slowdowns.
Much of the traffic crawled to around 30 or 40 miles per hour in Interstate 540, especially as temperatures dropped and the interstate road surfaces froze. There were several major accidents reported along I-540, with a handful of people being hospitalized. There were no major injuries reported, though, according to local authorities.
5NEWS reporter Austin Reed chronicled the conditions along the interstate in Benton County on Thursday night. See that report above.
While interstate traffic slowed down, roads on surface streets in Northwest Arkansas’ cities were packed with snow and sleet. Several crashes occurred, but there were no major injuries reported.
Authorities in Springdale declared a stretch of Highway 71B “impassable” between Backus Avenue and Wagon Wheel Road, but later lifted the declaration when conditions on the stretch of road improved.
The Springdale Fire Department knocked out a fire at a shopping center at 1880 S. Pleasant St. in Springdale on Thursday afternoon. Fire officials said the weather may be to blame, but the fire is under investigation.
5NEWS reporter Katelynn Zoellner was in Springdale on Thompson Street on Thursday night, checking out conditions on the streets. See that report below.