Electric companies prepare for possible power outages

Electric companies prepare for possible power outages

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With freezing rain and sleet making its way through Region 8, electric companies are gearing up.

It was a slow morning and afternoon Friday as Craighead Electric Cooperative waited for the weather to roll in.

Coty Cox, Craighead Electric lineman, reminisced on the worst ice storm he has ever seen.

"Ah, it seemed like 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until we got everybody back on," Cox said.

He's talking about the 2009 ice storm. Cox has worked for Craighead Electric for 8 years and said it was scary.

"We started putting it back up once it started coming down, and every time we would get it up and ready to leave it would just come right back down on us," Cox said.

Friday was much different than that. Crews waited for the weather to roll in and to get a call.

"We're on standby," Cox said. "When we get a call we will find where the line is down, and then we will have to make our work zone safe."

Craighead Electric is ready to take any calls in case weather hits Friday night.

"We are waiting stocking the trucks," Cod said. "Making sure we have enough material out there to make sure we can fix it on the spot."

The dispatch center at Craighead Electric is prepared with its staff as well. The center has maps up along with multiple weather radars tracking the precipitation. Multiple phone lines are also in place in case a number of outages happen at once.

The system they use recognizes phone numbers and immediately connects the dispatcher to addresses and account information. The map is then updated with the outage until a crew is able to return power.

Craighead County Electric covers 9 counties.

"Lawrence County all the way to Marmaduke, almost to interstate 55," Cox said.

The dispatch center is open 24/7, and crews are on call if any power outages occur throughout the night.

If there are a number of outages, Craighead Electric asks for patience because they do have to prioritize customers based on the amount of outages.

"Stay bundled up and be patient, and we will get there as quick as we can," Cox said.

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