As of mid-day Sept. 18, 175,966 of the 179,000 Entergy Arkansas, Inc. power outages caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ike Saturday night had been restored, leaving 3,034 to repair.
For five days, 1,200 Entergy Arkansas employees, contractors, and other utility company employees had been rebuilding an electrical system that had suffered worse damage only once: the back-to-back ice storms of 2000.
As repairs were completed in Arkansas, contractors, other utility company crews, and some Entergy Arkansas employees were be re-deployed to southeast Texas to help with the massive restoration project underway there.
In Arkansas, hardest hit was the area in and around Hot Springs, the location of about 350 of the remaining outages as of Sept. 18. A few hundred outages remained in each of the following areas: Batesville, Harrison, and Walnut Ridge. Of the remaining outages, nearly all were to be on that day, with some carried over into that Friday in Hot Springs, Harrison/Flippin/Mountain Home, Batesville/Newport, and Walnut Ridge.
Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston, Texas, at 2:10 a.m., Sept. 13. It caused outages for 99 percent of all Entergy Texas customers, the highest outage count in the company’s history. About 254,000 Entergy Texas customers remain without power as of mid-day Thursday.
“This has been an enormous undertaking here in Arkansas, and I could not be more proud of our people for their dedication and professionalism throughout this ordeal,” said Hugh McDonald, Entergy Arkansas, Inc. president and CEO. “We’ve asked a lot of our employees, and they have delivered with excellence and enthusiasm. Now as we wind down storm recovery here in Arkansas, I want to further commend those who will pack their bags and continue the battle in southeast Texas. I appreciate their sacrifice, and know our customers are grateful for all those who will go the extra mile to restore not only their power, but their quality of life and, most importantly, do it safely.”