Multiple counties around central and southeastern Arkansas found residents and businesses without power Monday morning as severe weather ripped through towns uprooting trees and causing significant damage to homes during Easter Sunday.

Multiple counties around central and southeastern Arkansas found residents and businesses without power Monday morning as severe weather ripped through towns uprooting trees and causing significant damage to homes during Easter Sunday.
A large line of severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds and tornados passed through Arkansas late Sunday evening April 12, causing power outages across the state.
“This was a storm of historic proportions. We’ve not seen damage this extensive since the back-to-back ice storms in December of 2000,” said Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas. “We fully understand the hardship that being without electricity will be for our customers who lost power, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a well-practiced plan for recovering from events like this. Execution of that plan began several days ago as we monitored the threatening weather forecasts and began positioning resources to respond after the storm passed.”
“The recent storms knocked power out for 194,496 of our customers across our service territory. At 8:45 a.m., we had 169,733 customers out of service,” said Entergy who has crews working in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
According to Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley at approximately 10:00 p.m. a tree fell on a home located at the 2700 block of Highway 365, as a result of the storm, where man in his 60s died due to multiple blunt force trauma.
Clayton Resor was pronounced deceased by Jefferson County Deputy Coroner April Davis on April 13 at 12:26 a.m.
Multiple homes throughout Southeast Arkansas were damaged and despite the COVID-19 crisis, many communities were seen helping with the cleanup of debris in their neighborhoods.
Julissa Chavez and her two daughters were on their way home in the middle of the storm Sunday night when she said she received a phone call from her neighbor.
“We were on our way home from DeWitt in the middle of the storm and my neighbor called and told me a tree had fell through my home,” said Chavez.
Chavez says she dropped off her kids at her mom’s house and then went to go check out the damages with her dad and brother.
“When we got there, my dad had parked on the street,” said Chavez. “As soon as he left a second tree fell exactly where he was parked.”
Chavez, who had tears welled up in her eyes, said she was just thankful no one was home and no one was hurt.
Reatha Hill was also thankful no one was hurt as a tree uprooted in front of her home and crushed her vehicles that were parked in her driveway.
“We all came to the middle of the house right before the power went out during the storm,” said Hill. “Moments later I hear my car alarm go off.”
The next morning Hill saw the damage to her vehicles but said she is glad to still be standing.
“That tree could have blown the other way towards my house where all my grandkids were at,” said Hill. “I am thankful it didn’t and I am thankful all the trees we have in our backyard didn’t blow over on us either.”
Entergy Arkansas has requested 1,100 additional workers, including lineman, contractors, logistics, damage assessors and administrative assistance.
Utility workers are working to restore power but Entergy has stated due to the extensive power outages the estimated restoration time is not available. Jefferson County has 23,407 power outages according to Entergy’s power outage map.
Landreaux said it’s too early to say how long it will take to rebuild what has been destroyed, but be assured that they will communicate what they know when we they it.
“We will dedicate all the resources at our disposal to getting everyone’s power back on as quickly as is safely possible. The safety of our customers and our workers is always our top priority,” said Landreaux. “This storm recovery will be especially challenging because our workers are practicing social distancing to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19.”
Entergy adds that customers should refrain from approaching utility workers, especially during the public health emergency caused by COVID-19.
“Interruptions will slow workers’ progress under normal conditions, but the health and safety of both Entergy Arkansas employees and customers can be put in jeopardy with close contact,” said Landreaux.
For customers who lose power, Entergy says there are several things customers should do to ensure their structures are ready to be re-connected to the grid.
Check outside and around structures for damage to electrical equipment.
If the meter or any of the conduit and wires on the outside wall are missing or look damaged, call an electrician to make repairs.
If the home or business has been flooded, customers will need to contact the appropriate city or county for an electrical inspection before service can be restored.
If a line is down stay away and call 1-800-9OUTAGE (800-968-8243).
“The necessary variations to our normal processes may cause restoration to take longer than it would without the complications caused by the pandemic,” Landreaux added. “With that in mind, please do not approach our workers in the field. This is dangerous for them and customers both. Thank you for your support. We will get through this together.”