Ice Storm Collisions Cause Gridlock in East Arkansas

A series of crashes during a major ice storm brought traffic to a standstill along several miles of Interstate 40 west of Memphis, in St Francis County, Arkansas, in the early hours of Tuesday, January 31, officials said.

A little before 5 am, the Forrest City Fire Department posted photos of crashed semi-trucks and warned motorists that icy conditions on Interstate 40 and Highway 70 were presenting “extremely hazardous driving conditions.”

Westbound lanes of I-40 at mile marker 252, about 13 miles east of Forrest City, had been impassable since 2:30 am and would remain stalled for several more hours, the fire department said.

The gridlock began to ease over the late morning and early afternoon.

This footage, recorded by live traffic cams operated by the Arkansas Department of Transportation, shows conditions at various spots along I-40 after 11 am.

Another round of ice and wind was forecast to impact east Arkansas, west Tennessee, and north Mississippi on Tuesday afternoon. The National Weather Service said it expected the storm to cause power outages, dangerous driving conditions, and extensive tree damage. Credit: Arkansas DoT via Storyful

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