TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Texarkana city workers began spraying for mosquitoes about 10 p.m. Thursday.
The spraying began because of a resolution approved by the Board of Directors in a called meeting Thursday afternoon.
Members barely gathered a quorum to pass the resolution, which declares a state of emergency due to a spike of West Nile virus cases, including a fatality in sister city Texarkana, Texas.
Ward 1 Director Ruth Penney Davis, Ward 4 Director Chad Dowd, Ward 6 Director Sue Johnson and Mayor Wayne Smith cast the votes needed for approval.
Ward 2 Director Laney Harris, Ward 3 Director Londell Williams and Ward 5 Director Mike Jones did not attend.
The resolution declaring an emergency was needed to allow immediate spraying, rather than the usual process of applying and waiting five days or longer for the state to approve a permit.
Spraying was expected to last into the morning hours and will take place periodically for the foreseeable future.
Smith said the city will first concentrate on areas where West Nile virus cases have been confirmed, then move to areas with creeks and ponds, schools and areas where citizens are complaining about mosquitoes.
He also directed Public Works Director Paul Hackleman to check with the city's code enforcement personnel to target areas where tires are routinely stored.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, and Smith urged citizens to drain objects and areas of standing water and don't go outside around dusk, when mosquitoes feed.
Residents should also wear long-sleeve clothes and use repellents with DEET.
Texarkana, Texas, health officials announced Wednesday an elderly Texarkana woman succumbed to the mosquito-borne disease earlier this month.
Since Aug. 2, Bowie County has reported nine cases, including the fatality.
Arkansas' state health department reported the state's first death due to the virus on Wednesday.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)