Gov. Mike Beebe has declared a statewide disaster in the wake of winter storm that swept through the state Tuesday. The press release notes that the declaration helps the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management work as efficiently as possible with other state agencies when providing assistance.
Beebe made similar declarations earlier Wednesday to ease federal regulations for the transport of utility crews and supplies, as well as poultry and poultry feed.
Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin said that he declared a county emergency earlier Wednesday.
Erwin said there have been "major branches down on roads and power lines" reported throughout the county. County road crews are clearing the roads as fast as possible, he said.
County emergency services director Kathy Zasimovich said she has been notified of the declaration and is prepared to respond as needed. Her duties are oriented to responding to individual emergencies such as damaged or destroyed homes. "The road crews take of the roads … So far I have not been called," she said.
Sheriff’s public information officer, Lt. Jim Kulesa, said the advice from the sheriff is to limit driving to the minimum needed.
"The back roads are real hazardous. If you do have to get out, drive to conditions. The roads will fool you. It will be clear for a while and then all of sudden you hit a slippery patch and it will be over with before you can do anything about it if you are going too fast," he said.
Also, if travel is necessary, let someone know your destination, when you leave and when you arrive, Kulesa said.