Sunday snowfall causes minor accidents, virtual school days

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Downtown Eureka Springs was a winter wonderland on Sunday, when Carroll County received up to 6 inches of snow.
Photo courtesy of Joi Ball

By Samantha Jones

Carroll County received up to 6 inches of snowfall on Sunday, Dec. 13, causing cars to go off the road from Green Forest to Eureka Springs West. According to local officials, all accidents were minor and no one was injured.

Mike Teague, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, reported Monday that Beaver received 5.5 inches of snow, Busch received 6 inches and Eureka Springs received 3.5 inches. Those are all the available reports, Teague said.

Eureka Springs fire marshal Jim Kelley said there were a few accidents on Highway 62 West and one on Highway 23 South, but no one was injured.

“We had several places where cars would be off the road but nobody was in actual accidents,” Kelley said. “They were just on the edge of the road and slid off toward a ditch but hadn’t actually run into anything. We ran a few calls but there was nothing major.”

Ryan Thomas, a dispatcher with the Eureka Springs Police Department, said there weren’t any major accidents on the police reports for Sunday.

“There were no actual crashes, but a lot of towed vehicles and people getting stuck,” Thomas said. “It was nothing out of the ordinary for a good, snowy day.”

Indeed, the Eureka Springs police logs indicate that an officer responded to a caller’s driveway at 3:52 p.m. on Sunday to help move a pickup truck that was stuck there. Officers responded to Douglas Street at 7:45 p.m. for a report of a pickup parked in the middle of the street. When they couldn’t move it, public works shut down Armstrong and Douglas streets until the road could be cleared on Monday morning.

Kelley said the snow pulled some power lines loose, but mostly the fire department responded to assist people stuck in their cars.

“It was really not too bad,” Kelley said. “I don’t know why so many people were out with that much snow on the road.”

Eureka Springs Superintendent Bryan Pruitt reported that the school held a virtual day district-wide on Monday and Tuesday, with middle school and high school students using Google Classroom and elementary school students using the Seesaw virtual learning program.

“That is more user-friendly for the lower grades,” Pruitt said. “I think it’ll get better and better as people get more used to it. At first, there’s always some connectivity problems but as kids get more used to it, it’s going to work out.”

Having virtual learning on a snow day is a first for the school district, Pruitt said.

“We’re excited to see how it goes. If any of the kids were not able to log on, then we’re going to let them get caught up this week,” Pruitt said. “As long as the students do their work, they get counted as present and they get credit for it.”

He continued, “If they don’t log on and do anything, that counts as an absence. If there’s somebody that absolutely cannot get on because of a connectivity problem, we’re not holding that against them. It’ll get better and better if we have to do more of this.”

Pruitt said teachers were available all day via email. In a way, Pruitt said, the snow day was a blessing.

“We count this as a day of school, so there’s no penalty there,” Pruitt said. “I appreciate our teachers being available to assist. It counts as a day of work for them as well. It’s a win win for everybody. We’re keeping everybody safe.”

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