Entergy Crews Working to Restore Power to Last Customers Still Without

MAY 11, 2006 - Posted at 7:45 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Utility crews are still working to get electricity restored to thousands of customers knocked off the power grid when thunderstorms swept through Arkansas.  Hail and high winds from severe thunderstorms also damaged roofs and structures across the state.

Storms knocked out power in much of Pine Bluff and the surrounding area, as well as in the Malvern-Arkadelphia area, though most customers had their electricity restored by last night.  An Entergy Arkansas spokesman said some customers would not get power restored until late today.

Joe Goudsward, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, said a funnel cloud was spotted in Dallas County yesterday, but its touchdown was not confirmed.  He said gusts of 72 miles an hour were reported at Fordyce.  Goudsward said damage was widespread except in northern Arkansas, which bore the brunt of storms Tuesday.

Entergy Arkansas spokesman James Thompson said that, as of 9 p.m. last night, 8,300 customers were without electricity because of the storms.  That was down from a peak number of 26,000 outages yesterday morning.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)