Though much of central and northern Arkansas was receiving sleet and snow at presstime Friday, Clark County was receiving mostly rain.

Though much of central and northern Arkansas was receiving sleet and snow at presstime Friday, Clark County was receiving mostly rain.
The temperatures were “right at the freezing point,” Jim Burns, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, said. “Out in the country, rain is sticking to the trees, and some here in town. We’re right on the border between the freezing stuff and rain. I don’t know how long it will be that way.”
Burns said weather radar at 9 a.m. indicated that the icy part of the storm was “pulling away from Clark County” to the northeast.
He had not received any updates from the National Weather Service about conditions in Clark County or surrounding areas.
“So far, it looks like it’s just the timber getting ice, and a few stationary objects like cars,” Burns said. “The temperature will keep dropping, so I don’t know which way it will go. I don’t know where the (line of) cold air is.”
When asked what residents should expect for Friday afternoon and evening, Burns said he did not have an answer. “It’s iffy.”
Temperatures are expected to fall gradually from the lower 30s to the low 20s “and maybe into the teens. If that part continues, naturally we’ll see some icing today. If the warm air gets over us, it could keep the rain from freezing.”
He had not heard of any traffic problems or vehicle accidents Friday morning, as roads were not icy. The highway department and road crews will salt icy areas as needed, he added. “They’ll be on it on the first report” they hear.
The weekend forecast calls for partly sunny skies, with cold temperatures, Burns said. The expected high Sunday is 40 degrees. “This arctic air is going to be with us for three days, then it will mellow up some. It is not as severe (as people were expecting) because the brunt of it pushed off to the (states) northeast of us.”
Snow and sleet have made travel dangerous in the northern half of Arkansas, leading Gov. Mike Beebe to declare a state of emergency.
Beebe also put the inclement weather police into play, so only essential state employees are to report to work Friday.
Closures ranged from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to Little Rock Public Schools.
The National Weather Service says up to two inches of snow has fallen in Harrison, about an inch in Mountain View and an inch of sleet has accumulated in Clinton. The state highway department says roads are slick with snow, sleet or ice in the north and western parts of the state.
Slush and sleet accumulated on roads as far southwest as De Queen and Arkadelphia.