Electric companies prepare for the worst, hope for the best - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Electric companies prepare for the worst, hope for the best



JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - While the ice storm that moves through Region 8 Thursday morning isn't expected to be as severe as the storm in 2009, electric companies in Arkansas have been prepping for the worst.

"We're kind of like everyone else, when a storm event like this occurs," David Burnette with Entergy Arkansas told Region 8 News. "We're looking at what our meteorologists tells us, based on this model, where they expect the hardest hit areas to be."

From there, Burnette says they station not only their men, but additional crew members as well in those areas expected to be impacted the most.

"We're expecting probably another 1,000 folks to come into the state," Burnette explained. He said those additional crew members will be ready to go when the power does.

"We're certainly anticipating outages, and we realize what an inconvenience that is so we're doing out best to prepare for it and to respond to it," Burnette said.

Like Entergy, North Arkansas Electric Cooperatives have been prepping too, as they hope to keep from repeating history.

"Definitely in 2009, we learned a lot," Mel Coleman, CEO of NAEC told Region 8 News.

Since their main service area is the area expected to be hardest hit, they've brought in extra people as well. "My hope is that we don't need them," Coleman said.

However, realistically speaking, they are ready for outages.

"We don't want to alarm anybody. Y'know, weather can change. It can change for the better, it can change for the worse. We're just gonna be prepared for it and hope our members are as well."

Preparation is something both Coleman and Burnette stress to their customers.

"Just go on and be prepared for an extended outage," Burnette said. "We're not sure what will happen and by that I mean medications, water, food, flashlights, pets."


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