As of 11 a.m., workers had restored power to all but about 41,000 Entergy Arkansas, Inc. customers following a series of thunderstorms and tornadoes Monday and Tuesday that disrupted service to more than 88,000 customers.
Workers made good progress with repairs Tuesday after Monday’s storm, but new storms Tuesday resulted in about 6,000 new outages. Tuesday’s thunderstorm was the fourth major storm system to hit Arkansas in two weeks.
Scouts are still assessing damage, but preliminary reports indicate more than 500 poles and more than 800 spans of conductor need to be replaced, among many additional repairs.
According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms will continue today, especially in south Arkansas, but skies should clear Thursday.
Restoration estimates for the remaining outages are still being calculated and are difficult to determine as long as new storms are rolling through the state. But preliminary estimates are that some outages could last through the weekend.
In addition to the 400 linemen and support workers who are part of the Entergy Arkansas workforce, the company has brought in just over 1,000 additional workers to help with the restoration, including about 100 linemen and support workers from Entergy Texas, Inc. Entergy Arkansas’ sister companies in Mississippi and Louisiana have significant storm damage of their own to recover from.
The biggest concentration of Entergy Arkansas outages is in Garland and Hot Spring Counties, with about 11,000 out of service there. There are just under 3,000 outages in Pulaski County, and nearly 5,000 in Faulkner County, where a tornado badly damaged the town of Vilonia.
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to 697,000 customers in 63 counties.