Entergy Calls for Power Cutbacks; Blackouts Possible in Some Arkansas Cities

JULY 19, 2006 - Posted at 1:34 p.m. CDT

BENTON, AR - With another day of 100-degree temperatures, Arkansas' largest electric utility is calling for energy conservation after a transformer failed.  And in the city of Benton, which operates its own power grid, officials scheduled "rolling blackouts" and opened shelters for people to keep cool.

The Benton utility is shutting off power to sections of town in 75-to-120 minute increments throughout the day.  Blackouts also could affect Bryant, Little Rock, North Little Rock and southern Saline County.

Entergy Arkansas says a transformer failed at its Mabelvale substation between Little Rock and Benton.  The failure was related to a voltage problem and did not reflect a power supply shortage.  The company says it hopes to replace the transformer by tonight.

At noon, the heat index was over 100 degrees at all weather-reporting stations except Siloam Springs in northwest Arkansas.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)