UPDATE: Crews tackle widespread outages after strong storms - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

UPDATE: Crews tackle widespread outages after strong storms

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Electric providers across north Arkansas have crews out Saturday morning restoring power in areas hit by Thursday and Friday’s storms. Strong, sustained, straight line winds brought down trees, limbs, power lines, and damaged many roof tops.

Craighead Electric Cooperative Saturday reported about 1,000 customers without power in Craighead, Greene, Lawrence, and Poinsett Counties with sporadic outages in Independence, Sharp and Randolph Counties. The wind broke approximately 50 poles, most of which are in the Bono, north Craighead County, Lynn, Black Rock, Lunsford and Trumann areas.

In an update Saturday morning, Jonesboro City Water and Light hopes to have everyone back online by Sunday morning unless more storms damaged transmission lines. CWL will have crews working today on North Culberhouse, Duncan Road, Metzler, Wilkins, Chickasaw, North Church, East Commerce, neighborhood west of ASU, and on transmission lines in west and north Jonesboro. CWL has crews from Conway, West Memphis, Paragould, Kennett and other contractors.

Entergy Arkansas reported widespread outages across the state Saturday morning. Crews are working to restore power after damaging thunderstorms moved through central and eastern Arkansas Friday. Over 600 customers are without power in Independence County alone where a possible tornado damaged businesses and homes in the northern areas of Batesville Friday.

As crews repair damage, stay away from low hanging power lines. Check all equipment and appliances now and after your electricity is restored for any signs of damage.

Bono residents who witnessed the storm coming in will tell you the same story.

"We were outside and it got real dark," Braydon Jones said. "Then rain just poured."

"It got real dark," Loretta Cline told Region 8 News. "Then it started to rain real hard."

The Jones' and Cline told Region 8 News that it didn't take long after that for the power to go out. More than 24 hours later, many are still "offline".

"No electricity," Brandon Jones said. "No X-Box," Braydon added. "But, all the food, we just went grocery shopping. All of it's gone."

"Since it wasn't real hot, it wasn't that bad in the house, but it's just bad because all you food in your refrigerator is going to waste," Cline told Region 8 News.

They aren't the only Entergy residents in the dark though.

"All the way from Batesville to Blytheville almost," David Burnette with Entergy Arkansas told Region 8 News Wednesday afternoon. 

Nearly everywhere in between was affected as well. Burnette can equate the extent of the damage to one thing. "Almost like an ice storm damage."

Burnette said customer outages peaked at nearly 20,000 and even though they got roughly 10,000 back online, Thursday's round of storms could have knocked some back off.

"Anytime the severe weather does move in on top of a restoration, it slows you down," Burnette explained. "We're limited as to what we can do in certain velocities of wind, we can't have our trucks in the air under high wind and so forth."

In an effort to bring power to as many people as possible, vegetation crews are helping out and contractors are coming into the state to assist as well.

For those in Bono without power, they were making the best of it.

Cline told Region 8 News she found a way to keep her food from going to waste.

"I'm taking it down to the church so they can put it in one of their freezers down there and if someone needs it down there, maybe they can use it."

The Jones', who were just grateful their dogs made it through the storm okay, were beginning the clean-up process.

"I'm trying to get all the limbs picked up and the rubbage picked up and checking on neighbors and making sure they don't need any help," Brandon Jones said.

To report a power outage:

 Entergy: 1-800-9-OUTAGE.

Craighead Electric: 1-888-771-7772

Jonesboro CWL: 870-930-3300

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