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Ten Year Anniversary of Devastating Ice Storm

PRAIRIE GROVE, Ark. (KFSM) -- A decade ago Sunday (Jan. 27) Northwest Arkansas was covered in a blanket of ice.

Trees were snapped in half destroying power lines and blocked roadways completely. Many towns were left powerless for days and recovery from the storm took months. First responders were stretched thin in an effort to clear streets and restore electricity across the area.

Ten years after one of the most severe ice storms the region has ever experienced, one Rogers Fire Battalion Chief says he remembers when the storm hit.

"It kind of snuck up on all of us," Dusty Meredith said. "I think the news media had said we were going to get something. I don't think anybody took it as serious as they should have."

Larry Oelrich who works for the City of Prairie Grove said that the city learned many lessons from this disaster.

"We are better equipped now with more back up generators, and more equipment to handle this type of emergency," said Oelrich. "Just going through the experience will help us if this happens again."

Both Meredith and Oelrich said their towns have increased staffing and resources to be better prepared if something like this were to happen in the future.

Meredith said the community must prepare themselves as well.

"When they give us these warning we need to pay attention get your generators ready if you have one," Meredith said. "Go get one if you don't have one."

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