The Entergy Arkansas storm team is busy restoring electricity to customers who lost power as Hurricane Laura moved across the state Thursday, Aug. 27, and Friday morning, Aug. 28. Nearly 48,000 customers lost power, as trees toppled onto power lines and heavy winds caused damage to power poles and electrical equipment, according to a news release.
More than half were restored by Friday afternoon, and the company expects 98% of customers who can take power will be restored by Sunday evening, Aug. 30, with only the most challenging and hard to access cases remaining. Current restoration estimates can be found on the Entergy outage map at https://www.entergy.com/view-outages/
“We understand how frustrating the loss of power can be, and our crews are working around the clock to get the electrical system back up and running today and throughout the weekend,” said Laura Landreaux, Entergy Arkansas president and chief executive officer. “We have more than 1,200 workers restoring service, and we know customers want information on our progress. We will be updating our outage map as more specific information becomes available.”
The greatest damage was in southern Arkansas, but the state was affected by tropical storm-force winds, tornadoes, thunderstorms, heavy rain and flash flooding. Coupled with anticipated weekend thunderstorms and additional safety precautions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the time it takes to complete damage assessment and power restoration could be longer than normal for the hardest hit areas.
Entergy Arkansas employees are navigating through the pandemic by taking precautions including traveling separately when possible, wearing masks when necessary and generally following CDC guidelines, all of which can add to the time required to complete work. The Company requests that customers keep their distance from workers in the field, for both safety and health reasons.
“We also want to remind customers to not only keep their distance from our crews,” Landreaux said, “but also equipment and downed power lines. With the amount of debris and limbs on the ground, there may be hidden power lines on the ground and potential for injury or greater damages. Always behave as if they are live wires; keep your distance and report downed lines and broken power poles to 1-800-9OUTAGE.”