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Schools let out early as forecasters predict ice storm

<p>(Source: National Weather Service)</p>

(Source: National Weather Service)

<p>(Source: National Weather Service)</p>

(Source: National Weather Service)

Clinton and Shirley schools have dismissed for the day as weather officials warn a significant ice storm is possible for northern Arkansas.

Shirley schools dismissed at 11 a.m. Wednesday and Clinton schools dismissed at noon.

Van Buren County is under an ice storm warning through 4 p.m. Thursday and a winter weather advisory through midnight Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

“Precipitation will begin over western Arkansas today as a mix of sleet and snow,” the NWS stated in its warning announcement. “The precipitation will transition to a freezing rain and sleet mix late tonight.

“Snow accumulations of an inch or two will be possible, with the heaviest totals in the higher terrain. After the precipitation transitions to a sleet and freezing rain mix, a significant ice storm is possible. Ice accruals of one quarter to one half inch will be possible, with greater accumulations in the higher elevations.”

Snow is possible Wednesday afternoon and evening, whereas the greatest chance for ice accumulation begins after midnight.

Roads are expected to become treacherous, especially bridges and overpasses. Widespread power outages are likely, according to the NWS. Travel is strongly discouraged, and residents are encouraged to have flashlights, food and water on hand in their homes and vehicles. Avoid downed power lines and beware of falling tree branches.

More information will be provided as it becomes available. Latest forecast details: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lzk/

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