LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As Temperatures are expected to plunge in the coming days as Christmas and New Year’s Day approach, officials say that could have a serious impact on travel plans.
Arkansas Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Dave Parker says The temperature in the next couple of days will be something Arkansans haven’t felt in a while.
“For central Arkansas, it’s bitter cold starting Thursday afternoon and Friday night temperatures are going to plunge 20-30 degrees,” Parker said.
Dominique and Matthew Strack said they flew to Little Rock from Boston for the holidays but were nervous when they realized their flight could be at risk.
“We saw a lot of the notifications on the southwest app that a winter storm was coming in,” said Strack.
Strack says they constantly checked their notifications on their flight and the temperatures heading into town to see if it would affect their plans.
“We definitely looked into some things where there was supposed to be the most snow, most inclement weather to see about our travel plans,” said Strack.
Shane Carter is the Director of Public Affairs for the Clinton National Airport in Little Rock and says staying up to date with your flight is crucial during this time.
“As we move through the next day, please be sure to monitor any changes from your airline through their website or through their app,” Carter said.
Carter says they had minimal flight cancellations on Wednesday due to issues elsewhere but if passengers download the app from the airline, they are using they can make arrangements there.
Parker says the department has been trying to stay ahead of checking the road conditions ahead of the cold temperatures.
“We will be out today pre-treating all the districts putting down the salt prime in some cases”, Parker said.
Parker says they plan to take care of the roads throughout the rest of the week because the cold temperatures won’t immediately go away.
“Nothing that falls on the ground Thursday or Friday is going to melt by Christmas day. Temperatures are going to plunge and remain that way for a good 72 hours,” Parker said, urging all drivers to take caution.
Truck driver Whitney Jones says that she will be on the road working Thursday and would also like for drivers to be careful.
“If you don’t think you can handle it, it’s best to pull over. I know they’re in a rush to see their family but it’s not worth it,” Jones stated
Parker says if drivers are planning to travel this week, they should make sure they fill up the tank in case of traffic and keep something warm in their car.