January 31, 2009
For Immediate Release
Entergy Arkansas Restores Power to More Than 43,000 Customers

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 systems.

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 longer.

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 restoration work.

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 public facilities.

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
Municipal Courtroom
201 W. Walnut

Monette City Hall
612 Finch Avenue

Harrison Youth Center
202 South Spring Street

Mountain Home
Mountain Home City Hall
720 S. Hickory Street

Mountain View
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.