Ark. governor looks for answers in 'unacceptable' traffic mess - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Ark. governor looks for answers in 'unacceptable' traffic mess

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe spoke on the mess Tuesday afternoon saying he is working to figure out why the highway department was not quicker to treat the roads. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe spoke on the mess Tuesday afternoon saying he is working to figure out why the highway department was not quicker to treat the roads.
Tuesday has been a headache for any driver heading through eastern Arkansas to Missouri. Tuesday has been a headache for any driver heading through eastern Arkansas to Missouri.
As of Tuesday night, entrances to truck stops were iced over. As of Tuesday night, entrances to truck stops were iced over.
Some stranded drivers with families wanted to cry. Some stranded drivers with families wanted to cry.
Some people in Blytheville bought food and water to pass out along the interstate. Some people in Blytheville bought food and water to pass out along the interstate.

(WMC-TV) - Traffic remains at a standstill on Interstate 55 in Arkansas Tuesday night after some drivers have been stranded for hours.

Other motorists pulled over for the night and will wait until the roads clear to continue their trips. Either way, Tuesday has been a headache for any driver heading through eastern Arkansas to Missouri.

Many left out in the cold are wondering what is being done to make sure they get moving as fast as possible.

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe spoke on the mess Tuesday afternoon saying he is working to figure out why the highway department was not quicker to treat the roads.

He says roads were treated before the ice, but it was washed off by the rain. State officials say they pretreated the road before the winter weather hit, but they say once the temperatures drop below 22 degrees, the road salt is no longer effective.

"I don't understand why a Missouri highway is clear and an Arkansas highway is not ... If it join rights there together that's pretty unacceptable to me," said Beebe.

As of Tuesday night, entrances to truck stops were iced over. One tractor-trailer's tires spun around, not taking the vehicle anywhere. People threw chains under the tires in hope of traction.

Many drivers are stuck in West Memphis because of the ice, but some truckers were in their trucks for as long as regulations allow.

"When the weather is bad and the roads are bad, you're sitting out on the interstate with all the trucks. Your clock is still burning and eating up your hours," said trucker Jerry Svitkovich. "Unfortunately, some of the drivers are stuck here because of that."

There were so many trucks in the area near the truck stops drivers got out and directed traffic.

Some stranded drivers with families wanted to cry.

"All the roads are cleared up until we hit Arkansas. As soon as we hit here in Arkansas it's been horrible," said driver Peggy Howard.

A spokesperson for Ark. state said traffic is moving slowly on the southbound lanes of Interstate 55 and on both sides of Interstate 40

The National Guard has been deployed in Arkansas to help stranded drivers and in Tennessee near Dyersburg.

Also, some good Samaritans took it upon themselves to make sure stranded drivers stayed safe. Some people in Blytheville bought food and water to pass out along the interstate.

To track Mid-South traffic visit Action News 5's traffic map, herehttp://www.wmctv.com/category/70840/traffic.

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