Benton County Crews Battle Icy Roads As Schools Close

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Benton County officials are combatting icy roads, while local schools called off classes Monday and Tuesday.

School administrators in Rogers, Bentonville and Pea Ridge, along with several other towns, decided to cancel classes, citing a concern for student transportation safety when local roads turned cold and icy as temperatures dropped Monday night.

With temperatures remaining below freezing Monday night, officials expected poor conditions on some side roads for Tuesday morning, although main roads stayed mostly clear.

Benton County Judge Bob Clinard said most of the secondary roads in the area will not be clear until later this week or early next week.

“We can’t do much with ice and packed icy snow,” Clinard said. “You can just plow them so deep, then you start to really dig into the sub grain. That’s not an excuse---that’s just the way it is.”

The county judge said school buses traveling on some slick roads in Benton County would have been dangerous for students and drivers.

“Buses just don’t do well on icy roads because…they tend to slip and slide. And certainly you’re dealing with the safety of those young people,” Clinard said.

Joe Wylie owns McEwen Construction and said some streets in the area have been difficult for road crews to clear.

“Packed down, it’s hard to get that up,” Wylie said. “Once it goes to packed ice, you just can’t remove it.”

Kimberly Satchel lives on a secondary road in the area. She said she watched cars backed up on her street Monday for about two hours.

“They decided not to salt the hill. That’s the biggest deal is, they refuse to salt the hill out there,” she said.

Clinard was concerned about overnight temperatures freezing snow and ice that was left behind Monday night.

“(Roadways) are going to refreeze over the evening hours, and there will be a lot of black ice and some slick roads in the morning,” he said.