Ice, snow and freezing temperatures definitely had an impact in Lawrence County, but overall the county was fortunate according to County Judge John Thomison.

Thomison said having some days in between the rounds of weather helped some, but the cold weather was hard on the machinery.

“On Tuesday, when we were struggling with our equipment, I had neighbors who were having trouble with tractors freezing up trying to feed cattle,” he said.

He said the road crew has been working on a few spots, but so far it looks like the county made it through in pretty good shape.

“We are just going to be aware and are trying to get around to check all the roads,” he said. “There are so many miles of road, there may be things we are not aware of. It’s just a process now to see how much damage there is and take care of it as it comes.”

He said a lot will depend on how deep the freeze actually went.

The county’s school districts missed over a week of school with students returning to on-site learning either Monday or Tuesday after being out of school since Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Williams Baptist University also used remote learning during the ice and snow, returning to in-person classes on Monday.

Communities and residents throughout the county faced issues, as well, including frozen pipes and travel hazards. Many businesses were closed or worked shortened hours.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said crews worked night and day to overcome the adversities of the weather and its affects on roads, garbage pickup and the water system.

On Friday, the city faced a major issue with the water system when water pressure was lost due to a break in the main. Snapp said they were fortunate that it happened at a double valve and they were able to just shut one side off.

He said when the City Water Works realized they were losing pressure and began looking for the leak other departments began calling in and coordinating efforts, as well.

“It was an all hands on deck situation,” he said.

He said it had been narrowed down to the College City and industrial park area of Walnut Ridge, where it was discovered that valve had a side blown out that fed a two-inch domestic water line and a four-inch sprinkler system for a larger hanger at the airport.

“While many departments and their individual team members were involved, Superintendent Jon Kopp and the Water Works Team went above and beyond with their efforts to avoid a water crisis,” Snapp said.

County Judge Thomison said while Mother Nature caused the problems in the first place, she also lent a helping hand in the recovery.

“The sun helped us tremendously,” he said. “It could have been so much worse. We made it through, I would say, pretty fair.”

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