Power outages hit Independence Co. hardest - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Power outages hit Independence Co. hardest

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PFEIFFER, AR (KAIT) – The ice storm may have passed hours ago, but its effects are still being felt across Northeast Arkansas.

Crews worked tirelessly Friday to restore power to some of the hardest-hit areas, like Independence County.

Entergy Arkansas reported that the storm initially left almost 5,000 homes in the dark there.

Most have since gotten their lights turned back on, allowing those like Lisa Smart to rest easier.

Crews arrived outside Smart’s home late Thursday evening after heavy ice caused a power line to fall nearby.

“It was kind of scary,” she said, “because when [the line] snapped, it fell on all those houses and the church.”

Smart was able to keep her family and two-month-old son, Romeo, warm thanks to a wise investment that she made after the ice storm in 2009.

“We converted to natural gas, so if the power goes out, at least we have heat,” she said, “and then we also bought a generator.”

 She, however, still ran into problems without electricity.

“[Romeo] is allergic to milk and soy,” Smart said, “so I have to have special formula. You’ve got to mix it with hot water, but we have no hot water so he does not really want to eat.”

Entergy reported that the largest number of outages occurred near Smart’s home in Pfeiffer, north of Batesville. That is anything but unusual to her and her neighbors.

“It’s just that one main line,” Smart said. “I don’t know what it is. They put up a bigger pole, and it didn’t work. Then, they put different-size lines. I don’t know. It just snaps every time.”

Flave Anderson, an Entergy customer service representative in Independence County, said the outages could have been even worse if the temperature had dropped a few more degrees.

The warmer weather Friday not only assisted the crews with their restoration efforts but also left Smart looking forward to the future.

“I’ll just be glad whenever it gets summer,” she said.

Entergy is still running into a few individual outages throughout the county, as the ice continues to thaw. To report one in your neighborhood, call 1-800-968-8243.

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