Clay County: "A War Zone"

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - Residents of Piggott have been bombarded by Mother Nature. Several inches of ice have collected on trees and power lines, causing widespread outages. According to Mayor Gerald Morris, 90% of the city is without power and will be for the next several days.

"It's going to get worse. It's beginning to get worse right now," said Bruce Swan, Piggott's Electric Superintendent. "We're just keeping roads clear and wires out of the street. We haven't been able to restore any power at all."

City employees Tuesday were out clearing the roads of downed power lines and tree limbs. With more ice in the forecast, the first storm of the year has already been one of the worst in recent memory, according to Morris.

"The ice storm in 1994, we went to Clarksdale, Mississippi, and it was pretty devastating for the people of Clarksdale. This one is bordering on being as bad in my opinion. Of course, we don't know the results yet because it's still coming," said Swan.

"This is probably the worst thing that I've faced because of the icing situation at the present time," said Morris.

Morris said all residents of Piggott are urged to seek shelter at the new high school gym. He said it's one of the few buildings in town with power.

Morris said he has requested the service of a tree trimming company out of Fort Smith to help with clean up. He said, however, hundreds of trees have already done their damage.

"Sometimes you get in a situation where the only help you have is yourself," said Morris.

Morris said he expects things to get worse before getting any better.

"It seems overwhelming at the present time because the limbs keep falling and falling and they do a good job of trying to keep the trees trimmed ahead of time," said Morris.

If you live in Piggott, or know someone who lives there, and need help getting shelter, call the Piggott Police Department at 598-2295, or the Mayor's Office at 598-3791.

Morris also said if the city is without power for an extended period of time, then the Piggott Community Center will serve as a backup shelter.