About 100,000 still without power in Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A cold rain fell across Arkansas on Friday, washing away some of the Christmas Day ice and snow that knocked out power to 194,000 customers — including businesses that rely on post-holiday sales — of the state's largest electric utility.
Entergy Arkansas said it had completed about 40 percent of its repairs by Friday, but that just under 100,000 were still without electricity. The pace of repairs has slowed, the utility said, because crews are going into areas with more significant damage.
Many in Little Rock, Hot Springs and Malvern won't have their lights and heat back until Tuesday — longer in areas with the most difficult repairs. The forecast for Little Rock for Friday night was a low of 26 degrees, with a chance of freezing rain.
Hugh McDonald, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, acknowledged customers' growing dissatisfaction at a Friday news conference, but said another 1,000 linemen and support workers were arriving from out of state, which means a total of 5,000 utility workers would be on the job by Saturday.
McDonald said he wished he would have had more workers on the ground earlier, and blamed forecasters for not indicating until just before the storm hit that central Arkansas would bear the brunt.
“Clearly we'd like to be farther along,” McDonald said.
The storm system, which worked its way east after Christmas, has been blamed for at least 16 deaths. The National Weather Service said Friday that the storm spawned more than a dozen tornadoes in southern Alabama.
Outside a Little Rock grocery store, Connie Ratcliff used a cane for balance as she unloaded groceries in the cold rain Friday. She said she hasn't had electricity — or hot food — since Tuesday.
“First hot coffee since Christmas, too,” Ratliff said, hoisting a foam cup in the air as she got into her car.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Defense chief says U.S. can fly over South China Sea
- Worries mount of unleashed ‘Taliban 5’
- Nebraska lawmakers ban death penalty
- Morgan settles lawsuit with Wal-Mart over crash
- Fossils point to relative of ‘Lucy’ species
- IRS believes identity thieves are from Russia
- Lawyer argues in New York court that chimpanzees have same rights as humans
- Growth potential remains for online gambling
- Charged Baltimore officers seek change of venue
- Early U.S. coins sell for $25M
- Suspect in killings of wealthy D.C. family arrested