Arkansas Ice Storm

During the late afternoon of January 26, it began. Arkansas was hit with one of the worst ice storms it had ever experienced. When I left work, I headed south down the highway to go cover a city council meeting in another town, and it had started to rain. I didn't think the roads were all that slick, but the bridges were solid ice. I passed an accident involving six vehicles, one of which was literally bent in half. A Sheriff officer on the way to assist in that accident hit ice and rolled his SUV.

The next day, the storm continued dropping ice across the majority of the state. Ice hung from everything, weighing down tree branches that pulled down power lines. Strangely, the area I live in had no ice at all. Just about two miles west of me, you could see a literal line of ice. I think the only area not affected, the only school system that didn't cancel classes, was the one in my town.

That storm lasted for three days and left over 300,000 without power. Today, more than a week later, half remain without power, and the electric companies anticipate at least another week's worth of work before the power will be restored. The National Guard is working in the northeastern corner of the state going door to door, checking to see if everyone is ok. One soldier found a 93 year old man living in a small shack that had survived the disaster.

These photos were taken by a friend who lives a few miles beyond that ice line. It's shocking to see since the only thing I had here was ice on my fence line and stairs. I'm amazed by how beautiful and how devastating this ice storm was.


  1. What great photographs! Hope you are not too cold.

  2. Where we live in Arkansas, the ice storm completely missed us. The kids still went to school and no one missed work.

    Several crews from here were dispatched to help those without power in other parts of the state.

    When I first moved here nine years ago, a terrible ice storm hit in December. Fortunately, we had left to visit my parents in North Carolina for the holidays, so we did not see how bad it was until we returned home.

    On a regular basis, throughout the year, we see city crews trimming and cutting down limbs, in order to prevent power lines from going doing in case another ice storm does indeed hit us.

    Another thought. Last year, the city was going around replacing telephone poles. I wondered why they simply didn't go ahead and dig and put the power lines underground, like they do for new subdivisions and businesses?

    Yes, the initial cost would be expensive, but if it is done right, it would save money and headaches long term.

    Especially when another ice storm hits.

  3. Mike, I think that's the extent of the winter here. I haven't been here long enough to know what is and isn't usual quite yet - I'll let you know in another ten years or so.

    Paul, I agree with you on the underground cabling. It sure would clean up the way things looked. But, I wonder what would happen if a line broke if it was underground? How far and wide would things be zapped?

    There is so much about the weather here that is drastic and dramatic. It never rains, it pours. When the wind blows, it blows hard. When it storms, it takes out whole towns with tornadoes and hurricanes! And, it's so beautiful that it is stunning.