Weather Conditions Resulted in a Lot of Potholes

In the past week or so, Hot Springs Village has experienced one inclement weather event after another, resulting in numerous potholes across the Village.

Todd Noles, Hot Springs Village POA Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation, assures the community that Public Services knew there would be new potholes with the thawing and that the Streets Department would address these as soon as possible.

Matt Broom, Hot Springs Village POA Associate Director of Public Services, stressed, “We knew the potholes were going to happen, and they happened overnight. We have a plan in place to address them, but the rain is slowing us down. We are repairing what we can now with a cold patch product, which we know is only a temporary solution.”

Broom continued, “During freeze and thaw events such as this, snowmelt will find its way into the small cracks and will expand when it refreezes at night.  This creates a cavity between the layers of asphalt, and the top layer becomes very brittle.  We have a proven method to address these shallow potholes but need dry conditions to apply this product. 

“Once we have dry conditions, we will use a two-part epoxy product called FloMix.  This epoxy will self-level and cure harder than asphalt.  Conventional asphalt patching products will not hold up in one-inch or less-deep potholes.  These areas will be evaluated for potential mill and overlay projects if the repairs aren’t sufficient.” 

The prolonged period of freezing weather followed by the heavy rain we have had is quite literally the “perfect storm” for potholes. Source: AR Dept of Transportation

How We Got Here

January 12, 2024

Todd Noles said, “It all began on Friday, January 12, when wind microbursts hit us.” (A microburst is defined as a downdraft [sinking air] in a thunderstorm that is less than 2.5 miles in scale.)

“I came in to work at 4:00 a.m. and started calling the crew in. They began working to clear the downed trees off the roads shortly after. They cut and removed 327 trees from the roads by 9:30 a.m. Noles said that the workers came from Streets, Common Property, Parks and Recreation, and Public Utilities; we had the roads open before many people got out of bed.” Noles termed the task a “team effort.” Golf course crews cleared the courses.

Mother Nature Left Her Mark With Many Potholes HSV  Todd Noles
Todd Noles, Hot Springs Village POA Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation, at his New Office

Not the Worse Event the Village Has Seen

Noles said this event wasn’t the worst he had seen. “The worst weather calamity I saw was in 2011 when a tornado came through the Village. The tornado was pretty destructive. After the 2011 tornado hit, you couldn’t tell DeSoto Boulevard was a road. It was like you were driving through the woods. Parts of what I saw on the 12th reminded me of the tornado; some roads looked the same way.”

Crews Worked Safely

Noles said the one thing that stands out is that all of the workers remained safe during the incident on January 12. “When you cut trees that are laid over and twisted up with each other, you get kickbacks when you are running the chainsaw. You have to be careful and know how to run the chainsaw. This is when we put our safety training to use. The guys did a great job of clearing the roads without incident. It was a great team effort by all.”

January 14, 2024

“On January 14, the snow began as a dry snow. But when people drove on it, it packed and made it difficult to plow. The subsequent refreeze made things even more difficult, turning the precipitation into ice. You can’t plow ice. That is when we began our salting and sanding operations. In a previous article, “HSV Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Todd Noles said, ‘The POA does not [actually] use salt on the roads. Salt does not work when temperatures dip below 15 degrees. Instead, we use a crystal magnesium chloride mixture, in pellet form, mixed with sand.’”

Noles detailed, “We have two sand trucks and spread 760,000 pounds of sand and 17,800 pounds of ice melt. The precipitation kept melting and refreezing. What made this situation hard to get a handle on was the fact that the temperatures were so cold for such a long time. The crews worked twelve-hour shifts, around the clock.” Noles said he lived in his office, including overnight, for two or three days without going home to be there for the crews.

“Our main priority was to ensure the main roads were cleared. The guys did a great job of making the main arteries navigable. Then we started working on the side roads. We put forth our best effort to clear side roads,” stated the superintendent.

January 18, 2024

We had the main roads clear, but then on the morning of Thursday, January 18, an ice storm hit the village. Although we spent a lot of time taking care of the main roads during this event, most of our time was spent helping rescue vehicles out of ditches, assisting stranded motorists, and helping emergency services. There were wreckers in ditches. It was a nightmare, so we couldn’t get to our residential streets because the situation necessitated helping rescues and emergency services. It was another great team effort,” said Noles.

Communication Was Excellent

Noles said the communication between his department, Fire, Police, and LifeNet Ambulance was great. Leadership also communicated well. We were on group texts, and everyone was kept informed on the situation, what the crews were doing, and their locations. Leadership did a wonderful job maintaining communication between everyone. Many thanks to Matt Broom, HSV Associate Director of Public Services; Ken Unger, HSV Director of Public Services; Kelly Hale, HSV General Manager; Kristi Bennett, HSV Police Chief; and Jason Miller, HSV Fire Chief, for their remarkable leadership. They all did an outstanding job regarding communications with and support for the Streets Department and the public. The communication to the public was some of the best I have seen. Our most significant message to the public was to stay inside and wait out the inclement weather.

Noles enthused, “I cannot say enough how proud I am of the Streets staff. The guys worked so hard, and their dedication to the Village is outstanding. They worked around the clock in twelve-hour shifts in cold temperatures. There were problems with sand freezing in the sand spreaders because of the cold temperatures. Villagers are extremely blessed to have these employees working for them.”


Sanitation crews are picking up the trash on a Monday holiday schedule (one day late). Many people have extra trash because sanitation could not run the routes, but bagged overflow is allowed. Even though Tuesday, January 23, proved to be a foggy, rainy day, there were no incidents with the trash trucks.

Noles expressed appreciation: “These occurrences all happened one after another within a week’s time. I am appreciative of the Villagers who helped us out by staying inside. It is amazing how everything has gotten back to as normal as possible. Now that the rain has hit and the temperatures have risen, I think we made it through for now.”

By Cheryl Dowden; PDF Created by Todd Noles

Click here to subscribe to the HSV Gazette so you don’t miss any of the latest updates.

Click here to visit the Hot Springs Village POA Facebook page.

Click here to join my private Facebook group.