Entergy Arkansas said Wednesday that it is prepared for the likelihood that winter weather will affect parts of the company’s service territory Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 22-24, with temperatures below freezing, strong winds and precipitation. Forecasts call for sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph and precipitation, particularly in the northern part of the state. Alone or combined, this could damage equipment and bring down tree limbs onto power lines, causing outages.
While crews have readied equipment and are prepared to restore power as quickly and safely as possible through the cold holiday weekend, Entergy Arkansas urges customers to plan for outages during freezing temperatures forecast Thursday through Saturday. It’s important to be prepared at your home or business for freezing weather and possible power outages with a basic emergency supply kit, along with a family emergency plan. Act now to winterize your home or business with some simple steps like insulating water pipes, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and ensuring fire extinguishers are ready for use.
Should a power outage occur when the winter weather arrives, crews will assess damage to electric equipment and facilities to determine what corrective actions and repairs are needed. The company will restore power to customers as safely and quickly as possible.
Subfreezing temperatures and dangerous wind chills, however, will affect restoration times as the safety of our crews is of the utmost importance. Customers are encouraged to enroll for outage alerts via the Entergy app or text message. Those who have signed up for outage alert messages will receive initial estimated restoration times longer than usual because of the extreme weather conditions, but those times will be revised throughout the process as damage assessments are completed.
Entergy uses a methodical and calculated process in bringing customers back online after an outage, regardless of whether the initial cause of the outage was specifically weather-related. Cold weather restoration is handled differently. More information on the process can be found in the Entergy Storm Center.
You can also find more instructions on how to prepare your family’s emergency preparedness kit on the Entergy Storm Center, and keep in mind:
- Customers who choose to use a generator should follow all manufacturer’s instructions. This includes hooking appliances directly to the generator, not their home. Connecting a generator to the home could damage a home’s equipment or Entergy equipment if not done by a professional.
- Stay away from downed lines and debris, as it can obscure a power line that could still be energized and dangerous. Downed lines can be reported using the Entergy app, the www.entergy-arkansas.com website, or by calling 1-800-9OUTAGE.
- Before you call to report an outage, check all circuit breakers or fuses to determine if your service outage might be the result of a household problem.
- Visually inspect the area outside your home near the meter. If the meter or any of the piping and wires on the wall of your home or office is gone or look damaged, call an electrician for advice.
- If problems are apparent, Entergy will re-connect your service or assist in determining whether you have a household problem.
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center for more pre- and post-storm safety tips.
Staying informed before, during and after extreme weather strikes is just as important as making personal power outage plans. Here’s how you can stay up to date on our preparations and restoration efforts:
- Download the Entergy app. Customers can use the app to report outages or check on the status of power at their home or business.
- Check Entergy’s View Outage map. Maps show where outages are located and give information about restoration progress.
- Follow Entergy on Facebook and Twitter. Social media also plays an important role in keeping you informed, and we place a high priority on updating our social media channels throughout an event.
- Text us: If you are signed up to receive our notifications, you can text OUT to 36778 to report an outage or STAT for the status of your power outage. To sign up for text messaging, go to myEntergy.com or by texting REG to 36778. Have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code).
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center website. The sitehas storm safety, preparation and restoration information that is updated throughout the day.
- Download the Operation: Storm Ready Guide. This guide will help you plan and prepare for weather emergencies. Information is also available in Spanish.
Following the storm, check Entergy’s View Outage map for the latest information about restoration progress.