LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - 1,300 Entergy workers are ready and waiting for this first round of winter weather and 6,700 more are on their way to natural state.
Entergy services more than 700,000 customers state wide from Harrison to Lake Village. They say they are sure they will be impacted by this storm. That's why 8,000 power restoration workers are ready and waiting.
"We can see that this event has the potential to be a 5-7 day event," said Hugh McDonald, President and CEO of Entergy Arkansas at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
McDonald says they are preparing for the worst. One look at the forecast on Monday and Entergy began calling in the troops to get through the first significant winter weather event of the season.
"We use various weather vendors to help us in forecasting and then we'll take that forecast and put that into models that we have to predict damage. Then, we'll take that work load or that damage and then predict the number of resources that we need," says Brady Aldy, Director of Transmission and Distribution Operations for Entergy Arkansas.
Trucks began bringing in extra Entergy materials on Monday and they'll keep coming through the weekend.
"We have doubled our stock in the last week getting prepped for the upcoming storm. Transformers wise, we have about 3,000 on the yard. We'll issue out about 300-500 over the weekend and we'll revamp and restock Monday and Tuesday. We'll have the material to get the customers back up," says Matt Wilson, Entergy Regional Coordinator.
In addition, Entergy Arkansas has requested an additional 6,700 linemen for the rest of the week.
"As you can imagine mobilizing 8,000 employees into an area in roughly a 48 hour to 72 hour period is a challenge in and of it's self," says Aldy.
Several crews will be positioned near interstates and when the wintry mix starts falling, they'll start working to keep the lights on in Arkansas.
- LINKS TO SAVE DURING SEVERE WEATHER: http://on.kthv.com/IIialf
McDonald encouraged Entergy's customers to sign up for the company's text alerts (https://www.entergytext.com/) and to follow its Twitter account (@EntergyARK) for updated information. Power outages can be reported by calling 1-800-968-8243 (1-800-9OUTAGE).