More than 15,000 Customers without Power
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Heavy rains and high winds from Hurricane Isaac lashed parts of Arkansas, leaving downed poles, twisted cross arms and more than 15,000 customers without electricity. Scores of contract workers are joining Entergy Arkansas, Inc., crews as they begin the restoration process. Hurricane Isaac is the fourth largest storm to affect Entergy systemwide in terms of outages.
Entergy outages peaked at just over 769,000 customers at 7:30 a.m., but new outages continue to occur. At 4 p.m., restoration has brought the number of outages down to 671,000. Entergy Arkansas is continuing to monitor the weather conditions, but the latest forecast shows southern Arkansas already receiving some rain from Isaac's outer bands. The remnants of Isaac will pass through western Arkansas tonight, Friday, and into Friday night. Most of Arkansas is on the eastern side of the storm track, which is where the heaviest rain and tornadoes could occur.
With flash flood watches already posted for much of the state, the state's largest utility drew down Lake Hamilton by 8 inches on Tuesday. Early Thursday afternoon, Entergy Arkansas began generation at Remmel Dam to lower Lake Catherine by approximately 12 inches. After Catherine reaches the desired level, we will match generation at Carpenter Dam and hold Lake Catherine, allowing Lake Hamilton to drop approximately 12 inches from current level. Then, lake levels will be monitored and spillway gate operations will be used when deemed necessary.
Lakefront property owners are urged to take the necessary preparations to ensure that their boats and docks are properly secured to handle falling and rising lake levels as well as swift currents. Landowners along the river below Remmel Dam should also take appropriate actions to protect their property and livestock from rising water.
"Our team has been preparing for the event to ensure we restore outages to electrical service as safely and as quickly as possible," said Brady Aldy, transmission and distribution operations director for Entergy Arkansas, Inc. "We do ask for our customers' patience with service interruptions," Aldy added, "because sustained winds exceeding 30 mph prevent our linemen from using aerial bucket trucks. Additionally, we appreciate everyone's understanding, as our day-to-day work will be impacted as we prepare and respond to the extreme weather conditions."
The company continues to urge everyone to be safe, including customers and Entergy personnel and contractors. Stay away from downed power lines as well as flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris since you may not be able to see a power line that could still be energized and dangerous. If boating on the lakes, make sure you watch for floating debris. To report outages and downed power lines, call 1-800-9OUTAGE. Customer outage information is available on Entergy.com and through Entergy iPhone and Android apps.
A severe weather guide for customers contains a wealth of information related to preparing for a storm and dealing with its aftermath. Operation: Storm Ready can be accessed online at Entergy Storm Center. Also customers can follow Entergy Arkansas' Facebook (facebook.com/EntergyARK) and Twitter accounts (Twitter: @EntergyARK) for information. Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to 700,000 customers in 63 counties.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates 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. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.