Snow removal

A loader dumps snow into a truck Tuesday morning on the Magnolia Square.

The weather continued to toy with South Arkansas on Tuesday, even as the region dug its way out from the remnants of last week’s snowstorms.

Schools that were virtually open but physically closed on Monday reopened for students on Tuesday. Some started an hour later than usual or still had rural bus routes that remained impassable.

A week ago today, Magnolia recorded a pre-dawn low of 0 degrees after a snowstorm on Sunday, February 14 and Monday, February 15 dumped 4.75 inches of snow. A second storm on Wednesday and Thursday deposited another 5.5 inches of snow, according to magnoliareporter.com measurements.

At noon today, Magnolia had sunny skies and 72 degrees. On the Magnolia Square, a front-end loader was scooping up mounds of snow as workers in short sleeves pushed together smaller and smaller snow piles toward the machine.

Still, there was plenty of snow and ice in shaded areas.

All across the region, local governments were dealing with the aftermath of record-breaking snowfall and long-term freezing – even sub-zero – temperatures.

Many cities and water associations dealt with breaks in water mains and individual service lines. In many parts of Texas, people were lined up to receive bottles of water. Even across South Arkansas, many boil orders remain in effect.

Magnolia had its problems, too, but the city largely escaped the most severe problems suffered elsewhere.

Mayor Parnell Vann said that during the past week, there were main breaks on South Jackson, East Union and West Monroe. The city has turned off water to more than 50 homes where people were suffering from broken water lines.

Vann said he’s unaware of any water supply problems affecting entire neighborhoods.

“In 2019 the city started updating the Sterling Lacy water treatment plant and I'm so glad we did or we would have made the news for no water.

“The employees of water treatment and maintenance did an outstanding job at keeping the water flowing. Some worked around the clock,” Vann said.

Magnolia water tanks are full are full, and with city is drawing water from Lake Columbia, he said.

Today should be the warmest day this week. Starting Wednesday, high temperatures will be on either side of 60 with overnight lows around 40. Rain is likely Thursday and Friday.

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