BAY, AR (KAIT) - After several power outages in bay already this month, the blackout yesterday, was the last straw for residents. The community is frustrated and tired of being left in the dark. There have been residents without air conditioning for several hours are a time, and many of the local businesses owners say the problem is starting to wear on their livelihood.
"Something has to happen. Something has to change in order for us all to stay in business," said Local Business owner Pam Owens, who runs the Fox's Pizza in Bay. Owens says they open their doors three months ago. "You put a lot of things into speculation about what you have to have, what it's going to take, and what expenses are going to occur. Not having power was not one of them," said Owens.
she says they've been without power four times in the past month, and with the cost of food and customers it's hurt business. "I've lost about 5,000 dollars. After the last time, I was sitting here panicking how long is it going to be this time. I said I'm not going to let it happen again and I bought a back up generator," said Owens.
But Owen's not the only one who's been relying on a back up plan, Bay Councilman Donald Gray works at the fire department and says they have generators on stand-by. When the lights go out, they have to depend on fuel to keep the department running. And with high gas prices, it adds up. "It's costing the city money. The power running three or four hours at a time and we have calls you know and if our radios are down we're no good," said Owens.
Residents biggest concern....what's the deal? We reached out to David Burnett with Entergy to find out. "We're aware of the problems that are going on over there," said Burnett, who says Bay has had nearly a dozen outages already this year. While he says some of them have been beyond their control, they have discovered a problem with a piece of equipment at the town's substation. He says they have also recently completed a deep line inspection.
"We've determined that we need to increase out lightening protection devices that are on that line. We recognize the discomfort, the loss to our businesses there. It's a concern to us too, and we want to improve that," said Owens.
Burnett says keeping maintenance up is an on going process. He says they plan to do some additional work on the town's substation, and hope to have crews out later this year to cut back the vegetation around the wiring.