VILONIA, Ark. (KTHV) - The heat made a small power outage a bigger issue in Faulkner County early Friday morning.
"We assumed it was just going to be a surge and come back on, but actually our power didn't come back on until about 8:30 this morning," says Joe Martinez of Vilonia.
When the power shut off around 2:30 in the morning, Martinez expected a quick fix, but hours passed without power.
"Once the power went out I went ahead and got up and sat outside for a couple of hours on the tailgate of the truck. It was a little bit cooler outside than it was in the house. So, pretty much, the night was done for as far as sleeping," says Martinez.
Martinez says most of the time power surges are brief. But this time, equipment failure put around 3000 Entergy customers in the dark and heat for hours.
"A lightening arrester. Its purpose is to protect our substation from a lightning strike. This lightning arrester failed, it reached the end of its useful life. It caused a brief chain reaction that resulted in the failure of a transformer in the substation, which is a big deal," says David Lewis, spokesman for Entergy.
Many times, customers' power can be switched over to other power lines while repairs are being made. But because of the high demand of summer, the switch was not possible for these customers.
"There's a lot of stress on our system for two reasons. One, the demand for the power is really high so there's just a lot of energy passing through the wires and the components. And that stresses those components and they are more likely to fair unfortunately. And also the heat itself is hard on the components," says Lewis.
Martinez says he didn't have to throw out any food from his fridge he just lost a little needed shut-eye.
"Even during those late hours of night it's still up in the 80's and 90's so we depend on the air conditioning to sleep comfortably," says Martinez.
Entergy restored all the power around one Friday afternoon. Entergy tells Today's THV that, in severe cases, they bring in a mobile substation to provide power to customers.