LITTLE ROCK — A winter storm that blew into Arkansas on Friday blanketed parts of the state in snow, contributed to at least two fatal accidents and prompted the closing of state offices.
National Weather Service meteorologist Sean Clarke said the storm moved into Western Arkansas shortly after midnight Friday. By late Friday afternoon, scattered flurries were falling in southwestern and southeastern parts of the state but no significant additional accumulations were expected.
“We’re getting some dry air filtering into the state, and that’s pretty much making the snow come to an end across most of the state,” Clarke said.
The weather service said the heaviest snowfalls were reported at Alma and Searcy with 3½ inches at each. Other reported accumulations included 3 inches at Paris and Waldron; 2 to 2½ inches at Stuttgart; 2 inches at Fort Smith, Van Buren, Hatfield, Conway and Maumelle; and 1 inch at Little Rock and Pine Bluff.
“No more winter weather is forecast for the next seven days,” Clarke said, noting that parts of the state are expected to see temperatures as high as the 60s Wednesday.
The Arkansas State Police said a child of unknown age was killed in a crash at about 8:10 a.m. Friday on U.S. 65 in Van Buren County. The child’s name was not released.
The child was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Amanda Sue McKinnon, 40, of Damascus. Snow was falling as McKinnon lost control of the vehicle on northbound U.S. 65 and slid to a stop on the southbound side of the highway, where her vehicle was struck by a truck driver who was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision, state police said.
McKinnon and another passenger, Christopher Austin Ward, 19, of Damascus, were taken to Ozark Health Medical Center in Clinton for treatment of injuries.
At about 8:20 a.m. Friday, Daniel Wayne Blair, 49, of Benton was killed in a crash on Interstate 30 in Saline County, according to state police.
Blair was driving west when he slid on a patch of ice and the vehicle struck a concrete barrier and flipped, landing on its wheels.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced early Friday that because of the inclement weather, state offices would be closed for all nonessential personnel.