LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Power has been restored to approximately 60,000 Entergy Arkansas customers as of 4 p.m. Thursday, and out-of-state crews are joining the effort to get the lights back on for the remaining 135,000 Arkansas customers still without power since a Christmas Day storm.
Damage assessments were still under way Thursday as some 4,000 additional workers began arriving to help repair damage left by the freezing rain, sleet and snow storm that at its peak knocked out power to 194,000 Entergy Arkansas customers. Among the crews assisting in restoration work in Arkansas are Entergy personnel from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Hampering restoration efforts were road conditions that continue to make driving slow and dangerous.
"Although we are making good progress in challenging conditions, we still expect getting the lights back on will be a lengthy process in Arkansas. Customers in areas with the heaviest damage should expect an extended outage of seven days or longer," said Hugh McDonald, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, Inc.
As of Thursday morning, power has been restored to customers in Russellville and Helena and crews are being shifted to help other areas.
Entergy Arkansas expects to restore power to Pine Bluff, Stuttgart, Lonoke, Marion, Wynne, Morrilton and Forrest City by the end of Thursday.
Customers in the Conway, Cabot and Jacksonville areas should expect power fully restored by Friday.
Customers in the Blytheville, Searcy and Augusta/McCrory areas should have power by Saturday. Entergy Arkansas expects the lights back on by Sunday for customers in and around Benton and Bryant, Carthage, Mt. Ida, Dallas County, Glenwood, Montgomery County and Pike County.
For the hardest hit areas - Little Rock, western Grant County, Hot Springs/Malvern, Clark County and Garland County - restoration could take as long as seven or more days, but most customers will be restored sooner.
Entergy reminds customers to stay safe during this period and remember to stay away from downed power lines. Do not trim trees or remove debris on or near downed power lines. Only power company crews or their contractors should remove trees or limbs touching power lines. Additionally, customers are urged to stay a safe distance away from active work zones and restoration workers on the job.
The company reminds customers to call 1-800-9OUTAGE toll-free to report electric or gas outages. Customers can also visit the Entergy Storm Center website at entergystormcenter.com for the latest updates and outage information.
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 700,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, which is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy Corporation's utilities own and operate power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. The Entergy utilities deliver electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy Corporation has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.
(Source: Entergy Arkansas)