Clean Up For Some Power Crews Could Take Months

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- Last month's devastating ice storm brought down tens of thousands of power poles across Arkansas, including nearly 8,000 Craighead Electric power poles. Once these power poles are up, another daunting task will follow.

"After all of this is over with and we get all of the poles and lines up, we'll bring in contract crews that will come in and remove the poles. When we get the poles in here, we'll remove all of the hardware off of them," said Monty Williams.

Craighead Electric's Monty Williams says, they can re-use the hardware from the fallen poles if the hardware is not damaged.  As for the poles, he says some may go to the dump and others may be sold.

"A lot of people use them for fence posts or corner posts and things like that on their fences, so we'll sell those or get those out to the public," said Williams.

Williams says clean up won't begin until power is fully restored to their customers.  With around 20 percent still without power, he estimates that could be around 3 to 4 weeks.  He says once clean up does begin, it will take several months to be completed.

"It would be hard to say, it just depends on how many contractors we can get in here.  That's still going to be a lot of material to handle and to unassembled. It's going to take a while to do that--so it's going to take a little bit," said Williams.

For now, Williams says restoring power is their primary concern.  He says there are plenty of supplies, and crews are working day and night to get  poles up and power back on.