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Monday, September 01, 2014, 1:53 p.m.
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Entergy crews to repair lines in Mayflower; I-40 to remain open, officials say

By Rachel Hook

This article was published May 1, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.

journeyman-technician-grant-pugh-of-bbc-electric-hangs-rope-to-new-poles-to-guide-the-stringing-of-power-lines-wednesday-in-mayflower-where-sundays-tornado-tore-out-the-lines

Journeyman technician Grant Pugh of BBC Electric hangs rope to new poles to guide the stringing of power lines Wednesday in Mayflower where Sunday’s tornado tore out the lines.

Entergy Arkansas crews repairing power lines in Mayflower on Thursday will not require Interstate 40 to close during the work, despite earlier reports that a rush-hour shutdown would occur, officials said.

Entergy spokesman Julie Munsell said starting at 6 p.m., crews would be moving and repairing power lines that were damaged along Arkansas 365 by Sunday's EF4-rated tornado.

While Munsell said the agency had requested the presence of Arkansas State Police as a precaution, state police spokesman Bill Sadler said engineers in the area did not expect any problems. Therefore, Sadler said, state troopers will be performing their normal duties in the area unless a problem does arise.

"In that case, of course we would respond," Sadler said.

Both Munsell and Sadler did agree that state police have no intention of halting I-40 traffic preemptively during that time.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department had said earlier on its official Twitter account that I-40 traffic would be temporarily halted in both directions during the work, but later corrected itself once the details were sorted out among the agencies.

Danny Straessle, a spokesman with the highway department, said once the utility work is completed he expects that Arkansas 365 should reopen sometime Thursday night. However, he didn't know whether the previous checkpoints or curfew would affect traffic through Mayflower.

Faulkner County spokesman David Hogue said he didn't immediately have information about the ongoing curfew situation in Vilonia or Mayflower. He said that information would become clearer later Thursday evening.

Arkansas 89 and 365 remain closed to motorists at this time. Straessle said U.S. 67 and 64 are available as alternate routes through the area.

Click here to see the Arkansas Online live traffic map.

Comments on: Entergy crews to repair lines in Mayflower; I-40 to remain open, officials say

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

NOTAGAIN says... May 1, 2014 at 5:12 p.m.

AHTD get it straight! Can you guys do anything right?

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SPA says... May 1, 2014 at 10:08 p.m.

Yep. They can. Thankfully someones are working harrrd to take care of this problem caused by this huge disaster. Thank you to AHTD for all that you do...and everyone else keeping order in this chaos!

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AHTD says... May 2, 2014 at 7:07 a.m.

NOT AGAIN, AHTD was just reporting information from Entergy and State Police to try to keep travelers informed. They changed their minds about the need to close I-40. It has been said that a wise man changes his mind and a fool never does. Entergy was probably wise to change their minds in this instance. Maybe this information will help you change your mind about your comment. . . .

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