Editor’s note: This editorial expresses the views of the Log Cabin Democrat editorial board, which is composed of Frank Leto, Jeanette Anderton and Alex Kienlen.
Faulkner County sees an average of 4 inches of snow per year, according to the National Weather Service. Unofficial reports indicate we received around 20 inches this week. In addition to causing icy roads, the brutally cold weather of the past several days put a strain on utilities. Electric, gas and water companies urged residents to curtail their consumption to help lower the demand.
Though under-equipped for the unprecedented weather we experienced, Faulkner County rose to the challenge.
The Conway Transportation Department crews worked around the clock to make the streets as safe as they could. They started with four snow plows, two sand trucks and a salt truck. By Friday, due to equipment failure beyond their control, they were down to one plow and one sand truck.
“Some didn’t go home, slept in hotels, took brief breaks, and kept going,” Mayor Bart Castleberry said of the crews. “Some haven’t seen their family since Sunday.”
Speaking of the mayor, he used his personal tractor to help clear parking spaces in downtown Conway on Thursday. We commend the mayor for rolling up his sleeves and helping out, and the transportation department crew members for their hard work and dedication. Our roads were no doubt safer because of it.
We saw another shining example of leadership in Conway Regional CEO and President Matt Troup. He was seen in the wee hours scraping the frozen windshields of staff members’ vehicles in the hospital parking lot. Those staff members who had braved the roads to come in to work, likely overnight shifts, also deserve our praise.
Tuesday night, when Conway Corporation was directed by its power supply reliability partner, Midcontinent Independent System Operator, to implement controlled outages, the company alerted customers (through social media and by reaching out to the Log Cabin Democrat to help spread the word) what was happening and why. The short-term rotating outages affected around 6,800 Conway Corp customers. Each area’s outage lasted around 30 minutes. The company once again alerted the public as soon as the outages were halted. The next day, Conway Corp posted a blog on its website offering more details on its agreement with MISO and all the specifics of controlled outages. We thank them for their transparency.
We commend the Conway Ministry Center and city officials for extending the Warming Station at the Don Owen Sports Complex to 24 hours a day. This decision very likely saved lives.
Finally, we commend the community at large. We saw so many posts about neighbor helping neighbor – whether pushing or pulling a vehicle out of a ditch, delivering food and other items to people who were unable to drive to a store or dropping someone off at the Warming Station. We’re proud to be a part of this community. Thank you, Faulkner County.