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.