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Storm cleanup continues in South Arkansas

After continuous heavy rain and winter weather, the Arkansas delta is thawing out, and crews have been assessing damage and fixing what the ice left behind.

SHERIDAN, Ark. — Years of history were crushed in seconds earlier this week for Caroll Cotton.

"I heard like a 'whooshing' noise, as the wind blew," Cotton said. "First reaction is a mess, you know, and just, the good lord took care of me. It didn't fall on my house."

Luckily, Cotton wasn't hurt, but like many in Southern Arkansas, it's now a waiting game as crews move in to repair the damage.

"They're working 18-hour days to make sure that everybody gets their power back on as quickly and safely as possible," Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas Communications Director Rob Roedel said.

Roedel will tell you bluntly—  this week's winter weather wreaked havoc on the southern parts of Arkansas.

"It actually sounded like a warzone further south and probably here in Sheridan, too, when that storm was going on," Roedel said.

While the storm may be gone, the issues are not. Downed trees and power lines are easy to spot—  we even saw heavy traffic at an intersection with no power in Sheridan.

Roedel said they have close to 16,500 outages. Entergy crews were also out, and as of 5 p.m., they have just under 25,000 outages.

"I can't give you an exact time, because it varies," Roedel said. "What I can say is members and other people affected by this storm in this area should prepare for a multiple-day event."

According to Roedel, things may take longer as the ice starts to thaw and dirt turns to mud, but evidence of crews' work is everywhere.

Roedel said the effects of the storm should be gone soon.

"This was a very severe storm, especially for C&L Electric," Roedel said. "The main thing we would ask right now is just patience from everybody and know that we're out there working. You might not see us, but we're fully aware of what's going on and we will get to you as quickly and safely as possible."

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