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County skates through winter storm

Memories of Christmas 2012 were revived Friday as Lonoke County residents awoke to ice-covered roads and trees, but unlike last year, the effect was short lived. Officials noted that it was apparent residents decided to not test the conditions and chose to stay inside and off the roads for most of the weekend.

Also electric company efforts to clear brush and limbs from power lines apparently paid off with no, or few, outages.

“There were no major events,” Lt. James Kulesa, Lonoke County Sheriff’s office public information officer said Monday.

Traffic remained light, and the only reports were of some vehicles that had slided off the road. There were no injuries reported, he said.

Cabot, too, saw a few minor accidents, “But nothing major,” Sgt. Keith Graham, Cabot Police Department public information officer, said. “There were no real problems. Everybody just stayed off the roads,” he said.

Cabot operations director Eddie Cook said it was apparent residents “played it smart,” and stayed home, although the city street department “Went into high alert.”

Street maintenance crews went on staged shifts, ensuring that crews were out 24 hours a day, Cook said. “We are real pleased with our crews. Their morale was high and they worked 24 hours a day,” he said

City crews helped highway department crews to keep intersections and some overpasses passable, he said.

Ward mayor Art Brooke said his city was well prepared. “We learned a lot last year,” he remarked.

There were no power outages, but the city complex was prepared to become a warming center should it have been needed, he said. A generator is in place that would have been able to keep building operating, although it might not have been able to heat the entire building. The Ward Municipal Complex is the former Ward Elementary School.

Ward chief of police Steve Benton said there were few, mostly minor, accidents, although one, “pretty much totaled both cars.” There were no injuries, he said.

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