Ice and wind causes problems for electric companies

Ice and wind causes problems for electric companies

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Icy conditions caused many power outages and a busy two days for Craighead Electric Cooperative.

Electric crews started working on outages around ten Thursday night and then worked all the way into Friday night.

Craighead Electric Cooperative only had about 350 people with outages around 6 a.m. Friday, but when a transmission line went out, that number went up to 4,200 people without power.

Crews worked all day getting power back to many and they hope to have everyone's power back by the end of the night Friday.

The two reasons for the outages were wind and ice.

"An inch or two inches on our power lines plus the winds has really been havoc on us," Vice President of Marketing and Communications Monty Williams said.

Williams said the combination could cause some real problems for people.

"The winds will start blowing, the lines will start galloping or bouncing, it will break poles, break the lines, break cross arms and it creates outages," Williams said.

According to Williams, some lines had around 2,000 pounds of extra weight due to the ice.

Every half inch of ice on a 300-foot section of power lines adds 500 pounds and several lines had about two inches of ice on them.

Crews not only had to fix the broken power lines. They also had to knock off the ice.

"They can't raise it back up because it is so heavy," Williams said. "And so that is one reason it is taking a little bit longer to get it back on because they have to knock the excess ice off the lines."

Williams asks drivers to watch for crews since many are working along highways.

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