‘Blizzard’ a bust…

‘Blizzard’ a bust…

Anticipated heavy snowfall fails to materialize

ralphhardin@gmail.com The warnings were issued.

Entergy sent out text alerts putting customers on blast that crews were ready to roll. Classes, special events, sporting contests were canceled. Businesses all over Crittenden County preemptively closed shop.

The Evening Times even went to press a day early.

Winter, you see, was coming… and coming hard and fast.

When weather experts began to call for a “significant” winter weather event to hit the area late Thursday night heading into Friday, residents took notice. The local grocery stores were inundated with shoppers eager to stock up on the essentials to last throughout the duration. At the top of that list of essentials, in case you were wondering?

Bread, milk and toilet paper.

Sidewalks were coated with salt. Highway crews had sand trucks at the ready. The stage was set for Crittenden County to be transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

And then… meh.

Thursday morning, the skies opened up before first light with a decidedly outof- season thunderstorm.

With temperatures hovering just above the freezing mark, it seemed to be foreshadowing just how much treacherous ice and snow was on the way. Temperatures gradually dropped throughout the day. And as Thursday became Friday, a light rain turned into a wintry mix. In the early morning hours, the forecast still called for a marked downturn in the temperatures.

Schools were officially closed all across the county as a precaution. Eventually, the snow came.

Sort of.

Forecasts has called for several inches of snow locally. “Four-to-six inches” was the most commonly tossed about figure, but some spots were told eightto- ten. Ultimately, we got a decent coat of freezing rain and a light dusting of snow (less than an inch of accumulation). Local kids were no doubt thankful for, but somewhat disappointed in the snow-less “snow day.”

While there were scattered icy patches, particularly in outlying areas of the county, by mid-morning the biggest hassle most residents faced was getting their windshields defrosted. Entergy reported very few power outages and no major vehicle crashes were reported. The majority of the winter precipitation, it seems, had dissipated or taken a more northern route across the state.

County residents may want to count their blessings, however, that the area was spared any heavy snow and ice. In the northeastern U.S., winter storms and dangerous conditions have led to more than 18 deaths over the weekend. There are no threats of winter precipitation in the immediate future, as forecasts show temperatures returning to the low 50s for the remainder

of the week.

By Ralph Hardin

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