Winter storms leave residents to deal with months of repair and displacement.
Residents in Stamps, Arkansas have been without running water for days. The small rural town about 35 miles west of Texarkana, and 134 miles south of Little Rock resembles many small and medium-sized communities in the states bordering Texas.
But, because Texas is in such a dire state, Louisiana and Arkansas have been overlooked by national media in dealing with the after effects of a historic winter that stymied an infrastructure unused to dealing with temperatures dipping below freezing.
“So many are still in need and stranded due to the ice storms that have hit Louisiana and Texas,” posted Mrs. Louisiana, Alyx Jarrell on Facebook. Similar to Texas, ruptured pipes have made homes unlivable and homes without power force some to warm themselves with inadequately ways to heat up even one room in their home.
In Little Rock, the Craft family’s heater broke just before the historic winter cold. Angela Craft, who has a child as young as 2-years-old said they went without heat for two days as temperatures. “We might as well have been sleeping outside,” she told ARKlatex news.
Just like Texans, Arkansas and Louisiana areas have experienced rolling blackouts and alerts to boil water when water treatment plants shut down.
Jules Brown Jr., a first-year student at Grambling State University in northern Louisiana went without power. Once power was restored, their water still remained off causing classes to be cancelled.
After Jules’ power was restored, it took days for the college to power up water. Nearby in Alexandria, the Louisiana Department of Transportation closed some rows while they plowed ice on the I-20 near Shreveport and broke down sheets of ice caked over the highway I-49.
In recent years, southern states have had to deal with colder winters with limited equipment and plans for freezing storms.
“We get snow maybe once or twice a year,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson. He also explained that the state doesn’t own snow plows because of the infrequent incidents of snow. However, transportation workers distributed over 3 million pounds of salt and 60 thousand gallons of grind throughout the state in advance of the storm.
“You never can do enough when you fight mother nature. We have to learn to live with mother nature and not just overcome the powers she offers us,” said Sec’y Wilson.
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