Power outages hit Independence Co. hardest

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

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

Entergy Arkansas reported that the storm initially left almost5,000 homes in the dark there.

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

Crews arrived outside Smart's home late Thursday eveningafter 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 in2009.

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

She, however, stillran into problems without electricity.

"[Romeo] is allergic to milk and soy," Smart said, "so Ihave to have special formula. You've got to mix it with hot water, but we haveno hot water so he does not really want to eat."

Entergy reported that the largest number of outages occurrednear Smart's home in Pfeiffer, north of Batesville. That is anything butunusual to her and her neighbors.

"It's just that one main line," Smart said. "I don't knowwhat it is. They put up a bigger pole, and it didn't work. Then, they putdifferent-size lines. I don't know. It just snaps every time."

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

The warmer weather Friday not only assisted the crews withtheir 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 outagesthroughout the county, as the ice continues to thaw. To report one in yourneighborhood, call 1-800-968-8243.

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