SALEM, AR (NAEC) - The aftermath of Monday's ice storm has left North Arkansas Electric Cooperative with an estimated 30,000 members without power. Efforts to restore power have already begun with thirty additional utility crews working with NAEC and several others on the way.
NAEC is working closely with other electric utilities to restore transmission lines first which will energize substations that are currently nonfunctional. Crews are encountering difficulties due to roads being blocked by downed trees and power lines. Most of early Wednesday was spent in assessment mode. At this time NAEC has confirmed reports of at least 200 broken poles and several damaged cross arms.
"This is an unprecedented storm . . . one like we have never experienced," stated Mel Coleman, CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative. "Although we felt well prepared, I do not think anyone could have prepared for a storm like this one. While it will be a challenging time for both the cooperative and our members, we are focusing 100 percent of our power on restoring that of our members. And like always, we will not go home until the job is done."
North Arkansas Electric Cooperative is encouraging its members to take advantage of area shelters that are open and most importantly, to stay away from any downed power lines. Estimates are that power restoration in some areas could take several days and maybe even weeks.
North Arkansas Electric Cooperative serves approximately 35,000 member accounts in six different counties in Northern Arkansas. It is one of 17 electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas that provides electricity to over 465,000 cooperative members in Arkansas and surrounding states.
For additional information, contact:
Leah Rouse or CEO Mel Coleman at North Arkansas Electric Cooperative, 870.895.6217