Beating snow plows into swords 

Little Rock’s snow cleanup rankles residents

Five days after a Dec. 22 storm left a layer of snow and ice on Little Rock’s streets and sidewalks, the city’s Department of Public Works was still responding to citizen requests to clear pathways to their homes. “We got six to eight calls this morning,” said Eric Petty, the department’s operations manager, on Dec. 27. “They say their streets are icy and patchy, and they are wondering why it is taking so long to clean it up.” Although most of the city’s main roads were safe for vehicular traffic by Christmas, many residential streets were difficult to navigate long after that, especially if they were north-facing or otherwise shielded from direct sunlight. A steep incline on top of that rendered some routes completely unpassable. Petty said that the city responded to the situation according to its established procedures, with a full complement of vehicles and materials, but that the unusually low temperatures limited their ability to reduce the accumulation of ice. Ten trucks circulated 24 hours a day from Dec. 22-26, all of which spread sand and salt, and four of which also had plow blades to break the ice (although Petty said the blades are often ineffective on the kind of low-lying, tightly packed ice that plagued Little Rock’s streets). “We had plenty of sand and salt, all of our drivers showed up, and we ran all of our trucks,” Petty said. “But this was a temperature deal. The ice would not thaw and drain off.” Sand is used to provide traction for tires, and salt lowers the temperature at which ice will melt. However, Petty said temperatures stayed consistently low enough to prevent most ice from melting, and even ice that melted during higher daytime temperatures would freeze again at night. The city trucks operating in the days after the snowstorm continuously drove seven different routes that prioritize collector and arterial roads, as well as bridges and overpasses. Most of these areas were treated twice a day, while smaller streets only eventually received attention. According to Petty, his department does not clear sidewalks, except for those in front of City Hall and select public facilities. At noon on Dec. 27, Petty estimated that 95 percent of the city’s roads were free of ice. However, many of the calls from residents that day concerned streets that had not yet been treated, and the public works department responded by dispatching trucks to those places. “We are running four trucks in select locations, as we receive calls,” Petty said. Some main thoroughfares within Little Rock’s city limits, like Cantrell Road, are actually state highways, and therefore are the responsibility of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Still, most of the long-term problems concerned smaller streets, and Petty emphasized that the city did everything it could do. “Normally, in Arkansas, by day two, with the sun, the ice is gone,” he said.

From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Warwick Sabin

  • Helena's disappearing buildings

    Preservationists hope to slow demolitions.
    • Mar 22, 2007
  • Trailers headed to Dumas

    Gov. Mike Beebe issued the following statement earlier today: Although this decision by FEMA to deny emergency funds to Desha County defies common sense, Arkansas will take care of its own people.
    • Mar 9, 2007
  • Youth Ranch robbed, vandalized

    According to a press release we just received: The Donald W. Reynolds Campus of the Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranches (The Ranch) located near Fort Smith was vandalized overnight Thursday.  Items stolen during the break-in included all of the children’s saddles, food, tools and supplies from The Ranch’s carpentry shop and all equipment from its auto shop.  An investigation is underway with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
    • Mar 9, 2007
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Kanis development decried

    Fletcher Hollow wrong place for density, neighbors tell LR planners.
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Most Recent Comments


© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation