9 A.M. UPDATE
The northbound lanes of Interstate 49 in Washington County have been cleared, according to the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
Portions of Central Arkansas may still see a brief period of sleet, but any precipitation is expected to transition to rain, meteorologist Jeff Hood said. Freezing rain was reported in Hot Springs at about 9 a.m., and sleet was also reported in Benton and Bryant, according to the weather service.
Light snow and sleet was predicted in areas across the state, according to the National Weather Service. The latest update shortly before 7 a.m. added Perry, Garland, Pike, Clark and Hot Spring counties to the previously issued advisory.
The highway agency reported snow, slush, ice and ice patches on a number of major highways in the western half of Arkansas as a wintry system continued moving east through the state. Drivers should be aware of rapidly changing road conditions, according to Straessle.
The northbound lanes of Interstate 49 remain blocked in Washington County after a crash trapped a person in a vehicle between two trucks, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Straessle said drivers in the area should “absolutely not” consider taking a detour because the most significant efforts to clear roads have been on primary highways, such as interstates. Less-traveled roads may be untreated, so drivers should instead wait for the interstate or other major roads to clear.
9:40 A.M. UPDATE
The highway agency reported the crash was cleared at about 9:35 a.m. At about 7:15 a.m., a person in a vehicle became trapped between two trucks, resulting in injuries, officials said.
A storm system that brought snow and sleet to much of western Arkansas on Wednesday morning continued to make its way east across the state, but precipitation at noon was largely limited to rain, forecasters said.