Snow started falling in Benton County on Wednesday night around 6 p.m., after rain and sleet fell lightly on the area earlier throughout the day. Washington County followed suit about an hour later, with a snow and sleet mixture expected to freeze overnight.
As rain fell earlier Wednesday afternoon in Northwest Arkansas, several area roadways became slick, but had not yet begun freezing before the snow came.
From Fayetteville to Bentonville, much of the traffic slowed as vehicles made their way through the rain and snow. State and local police reported no major injuries from wrecks on the roadways, other than a crash by a Benton County road worker.
Bentonville students returned to school Wednesday after two snow days from winter weather that fell on the area earlier this week. But the nighttime snowfall left some parents worried another round of snow days could be on the way.
“It’s rough for us because my wife and I both work. So then we have to figure out what to do with the kids, so it makes it tough if both parents are away,” said Rodney Berg.
Washington County road superintendent Shawn Shrum said rural areas and dirt roads have been the biggest problem areas for crews clearing the county’s roadways. Shrum said he advises drivers to use caution on any slick or wet roadways, especially bridges and overpasses, which can trap and freeze moisture.
With two separate doses of winter weather rolling into Northwest Arkansas this week, some local residents say they are embracing it. Others say they are already tired of it.
“Well, it does appear to be a long winter, doesn’t it? But you take the good with the bad,” said Gary McLaughlin, who lives in Springdale. “We will have summer in a few months, and we will probably all be complaining about the heat.”
Jordan Barker, a truck driver, said the winter weather causes problems for his occupation.
“I am ready for it to go. It makes my job a whole lot worse,” Barker said. “It’s nice and pretty to look at, but not fun to work in.”