Well, we dodged a bit of a bullet on the first winter storm of the year. We did have some ice accumulated on Highway 23 near Cherry Bend and on Fly Gap Mountain. Sunday morning, Franklin County responders and the Arkansas State Police worked a couple of traffic accidents in that area. There were no know injuries. The Highway Department sanded the area and the road was back open by about 11:00 that morning.
One complication we had with these wrecks was that both vehicles were abandoned, so we spent some time looking for the occupants. If you crash your car and get a ride home or otherwise leave the scene, please call the Dispatch Center to let us know you are safe. Don’t forget to prepare your vehicle ready for winter weather—make a 24-hour kit with supplies to keep you warm, fed and hydrated in case you get delayed
Monday evening about 10:45, our Dispatch Center received a call from the concessionaire at White Rock Mountain. Some of her guest reported they had two friends who went for a day hike about 1:00 PM planning to be back before dark. The hikers contacted the friend by text message about 10:00 PM reporting they were lost and asking for help. Deputies White and Chancy responded to the call. The SAR Team assisted on the search with map work and information gathering. Fortunately, the missing persons were able to walk back out to the camp ground where the Deputies were taking a report.
The missing pair was a 30 year old male and a 20 year old female from Louisiana. Becoming lost was their second experience with 9-1-1 on Monday. Earlier in the day, they had a grease fire in their cabin while they were preparing a meal.
Simple rule that will make life easier for you: If you go for a day hike (a walk in the woods) be prepared to spend a night in the woods. You may miss a turnoff, or take a nap waking up after sunset, or sprain an ankle and can’t travel. A lot of folks under-estimate travel times and over-estimate their ability to cover distances. Take a fanny pack or small day-pack with water, snacks, headlamp with extra batteries, loud whistle, large trash bag (for shelter), fire starter, multi-tool, one day’s medications, first aid kit, an extra layer of clothing, and hat.
Learn how to read the trail maps and use a compass. If you use a GPS, practice with it and take extra batteries. Listen carefully to this, if you get lost and have cell signal, call 9-1-1 so we can ping your phone. Conserve your cell battery because we may want you to call 9-1-1 more that one time to help pin-point your location. Leave a hiking plan with a friend or family member so we can know your plans. There is a sample hiking plan on our web site—www.fcoem.org