Bad weather on the way today, tomorrow
LITTLE ROCK — The National Weather Service predicts a large part of Arkansas is the path of a front carrying the threat of severe weather this weekend.
Friday afternoon and Friday night, a strong storm system and associated cold front will blast through Arkansas, bringing widespread rain, possibly heavy, and strong to severe thunderstorms. Rainfall totals of 3-5 inched are likely from west central through central and across a large part of north Arkansas.
A Flash Flood Watch has been issued from noon Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday.
A few thunderstorms will become severe and produce damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and large hail. The tornado threat will be highest in the southwestern third of the state where the shear environment will be most favorable for tornadoes and overall severe weather.
Additionally, as cold air moves into the state, some of the rain could end as a wintry mix or period of wet snow across parts of northwest.
BLYTHEVILLE — From an extra set of eyes in the sky to demolishing homes back to back, the Blytheville Police Department says new changes made 2019 made a difference within its community, and they plan to continue the effort in the new year.
While bettering the area to keep everyone safe, authorities say it’s all thanks to tearing down abandoned homes and putting up Sky Cop cameras.
So far, 26 homes have been knocked down since 2019, when they first started.
The city’s code enforcement officer says this year’s goal is to take down 100 homes total, but they still have some plans to work out.
As far as the Sky Cops cameras, Blytheville Police Department Assistant Chief Ricky Jefferson says the current seven installed cameras have helped solve a few crimes, and there’s been a positive response from the community.
“Everybody wants them now,” says Jefferson. “We will have enough of them around where you can’t go in any neighborhood and come out without being caught on camera.”
Jefferson said his goal for 2020 is to have 32 cameras installed.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital seeing spike in RSV cases
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Children’s Hospital says it is inundated with RSV cases right now and predict a record season for the virus.
RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a virus that presents like a common cold in adults and older children, but is highly contagious and can become a serious respiratory illness in babies.
Dr. Rebecca Cantu with ACH says they’re seeing record numbers.
“Right now we are seeing a very large increase in RSV, even earlier than usual and our hospital is quite full of babies with RSV and bronchiolitis,” she said.
For an infant, it can cause inflammation of the lungs, which leads to labored breathing. Nearly 60,000 children are hospitalized every year because of RSV, according to the CDC. Those at greatest risk for RSV becoming severe in infants under 6 months old and premature babies. Parents may start noticing loads of mucus that comes back quickly even after suctioning at home. In many young babies, their tiny bodies can hardly keep up. Unfortunately, with a virus, there is no medicine.
Dr. Cantu says the hospital is being inundated with overly cautious parents this time of year.
They’re asking parents to know when to go to the ER versus your regular doctor.
“You have suctioned and they’re breathing consistently very fast and they’re sucking in under or between their ribs, they’re really not able to do anything other than focus on breathing.
They’re not feeding well or anything, then you should probably come to the emergency room,” she said.
While thousands of parents across the country struggle with this virus, there may be some hope for eradicating it in the future. Drug company Pfizer is currently in phase two of clinical trials of an RSV vaccine for the mass population. It would be the first vaccine administered to a pregnant mother, boosting the mother’s antibodies and in turn, going to directly to the baby before birth. The next phase for the vaccine is for Pfizer to prove the vaccine’s effectiveness to the FDA for approval.