Drivers stuck in traffic for hours Tuesday after winter blast

    11:16 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) - If you were out driving Tuesday, you know it was a mess out there on the road, and it could be Wednesday morning, too, because state highway officials expect all the moisture that fell on Tuesday to re-freeze overnight.

    State highway crews are working overnight and likely into late Wednesday morning. They are sanding and salting the roads, trying to avoid a situation that many drivers found themselves on Tuesday. Folks became stuck in traffic for hours trying get to home.

    The green lights along Cantrell Road in Little Rock offered no consolation to drivers Tuesday afternoon, sitting in traffic for hours.

    "How long have you been stuck in this? THV 11's Max Seigle asked a driver.

    "About three hours," Shelbi Summerlin said.

    Shelbi Summerlin was trying to get home to Bryant from her job in Little Rock.

    "A little frustrated, and annoyed, and hungry," Summerlin said.

    "Any relief in sight?," Seigle asked.

    "No, not really, no," Summerlin said.

    THV 11 caught up with her and other drivers near the Pleasant Ridge shopping Center where eastbound traffic was the biggest mess.

    "I've been going since 11 a.m., and I've been waiting maybe about three hours here," Roy White said.

    Roy White of Little Rock was sitting in his Caravan with his son, and he was clearly ready to "call it a day."

    "I'm tired, and we need to get home," White said.

    Drivers, like Patricia Freeman of Jacksonville, had to pull over for a pit stop.
    "We needed gas," Freeman said.

    And when THV 11 met her, she put some perspective to the mess.

    "It's awful. We've gone about a mile in an hour," Freeman said.

    The traffic was inching along slowly and not without some slides.

    "Definitely slick," Freeman said.

    "Ain't nothing you can really do but sit and wait," Thomas Castleman said.

    Thomas Castleman was taking it all in stride as he tried to get to Conway for another business call.

    "It will be probably be dark at this rate," Castleman said.

    It was a longer drive on the job or heading home Tuesday, and at that snail's pace, those green lights mentioned earlier, might as well have been red.

    It hasn't just been that traffic along Cantrell Road backed up Tuesday afternoon and evening.

    Another big trouble spot is I-40 near Brinkley where drivers called into our newsroom and said they were sitting in traffic for four hours. Adding to the mess, there's a construction zone in the area with one lane in each direction. State Police asked the Arkansas National Guard to help patrol the area and identify drivers in distress. THV 11 was told those crews would be out there as long as state police need them.

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