Little Rock, Ark. – Entergy Arkansas, Inc. is making progress in the
aftermath of a severe ice storm in northern Arkansas and is now projecting a
February 4th restoration of electric service to most customers.
Company officials announced Saturday that they expect to have most customers’
service restored by the end of the day Wednesday. Many customers throughout
Entergy’s service area will have their power on before the estimated time. The
pace of restoration will steadily increase as Entergy Arkansas completes
assessments and continues repairing damage to the transmission and distributions
Customers who live in the hardest-hit areas should be back in service next
weekend. A small number of customers who live in extremely remote areas, or that
have damage to their homes and cannot take power, could be out of service
As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Entergy Arkansas, Inc. is reporting 68,200 power
outages as a result of a severe winter storm in north Arkansas. This is down
more than 42,800 customers from a peak of 111,000, which occurred Wednesday.
The largest numbers of outages, so far, are in the areas of:
Harrison – 11,671
Yellville – 18,839
Blytheville – 8,018
Batesville – 4,857
Walnut Ridge – 4,400
Monette – 4,386
Mountain View – 3,516
Newport – 3,315
Mountain Home – 3,010
The rest of the outages are scattered throughout northern Arkansas.
There are more than 3,500 linemen, field support personnel and tree trimmers
responding to the Entergy Arkansas outages. That number includes employees from
Entergy Arkansas’ sister operating companies in Mississippi, Louisiana, and
Texas, as well as numerous contractors and employees of other utility companies.
Contractors and other utility companies have sent workers from Texas,
Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana
and North Carolina. Other utility companies that have sent workers include
Alabama Power Co., Mississippi Power Co., Gulf Power Co. (Florida), Centerpoint
Energy (Houston), Oklahoma Gas & Electric, Empire District Electric Company
(Missouri), and Texas-New Mexico Power Company (Texas).
In addition to augmenting the workforce, Entergy Arkansas has brought in
extensive off-road equipment, such as tracked bucket trucks, bulldozers, two
helicopters for aerial assessment, as well as all the bucket trucks and
materials linemen normally work with.
Damage is widespread, every bit as devastating in some areas as the twin ice
storms of December 2000. Early assessments indicate numerous transmission
structures down and several thousand utility poles broken or on the ground,
along with the wires, transformers, and other components attached to them.
The first step in a major restoration project like this one is assessing the
damage so that work can be planned in an efficient manner and so that the
company can develop estimates as to when power will be restored to all
customers. With the help of helicopters, assessment of the high-voltage
transmission lines and substations were completed today. Assessment of the
damage to the lower-voltage distribution system will take a few days more
because it must be conducted from the ground. Fallen trees and debris are making
access to some remote areas difficult, hindering both damage assessment and
The terrain is a challenge, as well. In the Ozark Mountains of north-central
Arkansas, accessing remote locations with large equipment can be difficult,
especially with multiple fallen trees in the way. This will cause progress to be
slower in the mountains than it will be in northeast Arkansas, where the terrain
is more accessible.
When planning which work will be done first, Entergy Arkansas places top
priority on restoring service to facilities that would be considered critical
infrastructure, such as hospitals, fire stations, police departments, and other
After critical infrastructure has been restored to the degree possible, the
objective is to do the work that will get the largest numbers of customers on as
quickly as possible. To do this, planners work first to energize high-voltage
transmission lines and substations. These feed power to the lower-voltage
distribution circuits. The next priority are the larger distribution circuits,
followed by the smaller distribution circuits, eventually reaching single
service lines to individual homes and businesses.
For information about emergency shelters, customers should consult the local
chapter of the American Red Cross.
Entergy Arkansas has opened “customer information centers” in several
locations in north Arkansas. These centers provide an opportunity for customers
to speak face-to-face with company representatives for local information about
outages, progress in restoring power, and other issues.
Customer Information Centers have been opened in the following locations.
Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including Sunday.
Blytheville Police Department
201 W. Walnut
Monette City Hall
612 Finch Avenue
Harrison Youth Center
202 South Spring Street
Mountain Home City Hall
720 S. Hickory Street
Stone County Courthouse
Flippin City Hall
239 East Main
Highland City Hall
1662 Hwy 62/412
Entergy Arkansas Office
450 South 11th Street
Chamber of Commerce
201 Hazel Street
Entergy Arkansas customers are reminded to stay away from downed power lines.
Outages should be reported by calling 1-800-9OUTAGE.
A relatively new – and recently upgraded – online service is “View Outages.”
Anyone with Internet access can go to Entergy.com, click on “View
Outages” and see where outages are occurring down to the street level.
Entergy Arkansas, Inc. provides electricity to almost 684,000 customers in 63
counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily
in electric power production and ret ail distribution operations. Entergy owns
and operates power plant s with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric
generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the
United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more
than $10 billion and approximately 14,500 employees.
Entergy Arkansas’s online address is www. entergy-arkansas.com.