Strong winds, transmission line work combine for power outage

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

CLAY COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Around 2,600 residents in Clay and Randolph counties were without power for about 13 hours from Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The town of Corning lost power around 11 p.m. Tuesday, along with Datto.

Residents in Reyno, Biggers, and O'Kean in Randolph County also lost electricity.

Strong winds blew a large transmission structure over near McDougal, which is west of Corning.

Under normal circumstances, that wouldn't have caused an outage.

But, Entergy is in the middle of a large project to completely rebuild about 40 miles of their transmission system that runs from Datto to Campbell, Mo.

"It's about a $65 million project," Entergy Customer Service Manager David Burnette said. "What we're doing is rebuilding that line, increasing the voltage 115,000 volts to 161,000 volts, which helps us with load capabilities and voltage stability and so forth for better reliability."

Because of that work, one section of the transmission line is currently out of use.

"That created the outage because we had no backup feed capabilities," Burnette said. "When the line is complete, a structure, if it were to go down, the customer's lights wouldn't even blink because it would automatically pick that feed up from a different direction."

Burnette said power was restored to the area around noon Wednesday because they were able to back-feed electricity from Rector and Pocahontas to affected customers.

The structure is expected to be repaired sometime Wednesday evening.

The entire rebuilding project should be done by June 2019, Burnette said.

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