Public workers become ice storm heroes

Feb. 28th, 2022

Emma Allen | Delta Digital News Service

City employees work clearing the roads of ice during winter ice storms.

East Johnson Avenue is made accessible to traffic after members of the Public Works Department cleared the roadway of ice following a round of recent ice storms. Emma Allen/Delta Digital News Service

JONESBORO, Ark. – Before winter weather struck Northeast Arkansas last week, many people panicked to get to the grocery store.  Others were preparing to help out the community in the storm. 

   There are essential workers that have the main goal of keeping the community safe.  The Jonesboro Fire Department and the Jonesboro Street Department work in many ways to help enforce safety.  By laying down salt and moving snow away from the roads, the street department and fire department stay busy during winter weather storms.    

City of Jonesboro Street Director Steve Tippitt

   Steve Tippitt, Jonesboro street director, described the process the street department goes through when dealing with winter weather. 

   “We put a chemical out that is magnesium chloride that sprays in our sand, and we spread the sand out for traction,” Tippitt said. “We will do that until we get to thinking we have to start plowing the streets, and then we will plow until we get it to where it is down thin, to where the sun will melt it.” 

   Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller said his department runs preparations with a lot of their equipment, trying to make sure everything is ready to go winterized.  They follow procedures to make sure the firefighters are ready for anything as well. 

   “The main goal is to make sure we are able to respond.  Plain and simple,” he said.   

City of Jonesboro Fire Chief Kevin Miller

   Arkansas weather is unpredictable.  The public safety departments throughout Jonesboro have to be ready for anything, at any given moment. 

   Caitlynn Hill, junior at A-State, explained, “I commute to campus every day, so I knew it was going to be tough when the storm came to get to school.  I am thankful for the essential workers that help clear the roads and make safety a priority in this community.”

   Arkansas State University opened up for school again today following the second round of winter weather.  The hard work and efforts of the public safety departments allowed citizens to stay safe during the winter weather storm.