Entergy announced in a Wednesday afternoon news conference that it will bring 8,000 workers into the state for help during the impending ice storm that is expected to hit Arkansas starting on Thursday.
The main concern will be power failures, with around 5/8 of an inch of ice expected in some parts of the state and wind gusts around 25 miles per hour, said Brady Aldy, transmission and distribution operations director for Entergy.
Entergy departments and independent contractors in the region will provide assistance with damage assessment, electrical management and trimming trees, among other necessities, Entergy Arkansas' President Chief Executive Officer Hugh McDonald said. Workers will be assigned to certain parts of the state to assist the local Entergy employees with various tasks during and after the storm.
McDonald said that the company is taking a few lessons in preparation from the December 2012 snow storm that occurred Christmas night. At the Entergy distribution center, workers are already loading electrical poles and transformers onto pallet trucks to be taken to more accessible locations in preparation for the winter weather.
Aldy said the company is forecasting a five-to-seven day event for the ice storm in terms of customer outages. Entergy serves around 700,000 customers across Arkansas.