Craighead Electric still feeling affects of 2009 ice storm

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The 2009 ice storm hit Craighead Electric hard, with the damages amounting to nearly 43-million dollars. It was a natural disaster that many in the area will never forget. Even to this day, crews continue to restore distribution lines back to their original condition.

"It's been the worst disaster for Craighead Electric and probably this area has been in," says Monty Williams with Craighead Electric. He says when the ice storm of 2009 reared it's ugly head on the city of Jonesboro, it left many in the dark. "Around 25 thousand and we serve 28 thousand so nearly about everything was off," says Williams.

The priority was to get the power back on, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Over 950 line men were called in, and while it only took 25 days to restore power....

Almost two years later, crews are still cleaning up the mess. "A lot of it was just going back and repairing some of the things that went up too fast...re-sagging lines, straightening poles that were damaged during that storm," says Williams.

Williams says when you cover 47 hundred miles of line it's a lot to tackle. "We had to cover just about the majority of that, we still had to go back and look at it again even though we had already replaced it from the ice storm. So, it takes a little while," says Williams.

While it's been a long road, Williams says they are putting the finishing touches on an project he hopes doesn't repeat itself.

"We're glad that this is going to be coming to an end and hope it stays away, the ice and everything," says Williams.

Williams says Craighead Electric is ready for an outage 24/7, but just hope it's nothing like 2009. He says the last six crews will be finished December 22nd.

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