Area agencies reflect on efforts during winter storm

KNWA

"In any unprecedented event, there are always lessons learned and ways to improve."

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The winter storm has moved on, but it leaves some signs for improvement in its wake.

This has been an extraordinary event.

PETER MAIN, SWEPCO COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

The snow may be melting, but local agencies are feeling the aftermath.

For Peter Main with SWEPCO, planning power outages was uncharted territory.

“To have to do that for several hours and in some cases longer, we recognize that’s a real hardship,” Main said. “We really appreciate [our customers’] patience and understanding as we have been working our way through the emergency.” 

The urgency of the matter, may have hindered communication to the public.

In any unprecedented event, there are always lessons learned and ways to improve.

PETER MAIN, SWEPCO COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

“When we receive the order, we have to do it immediately, so it doesn’t always allow us to communicate as quickly as we would like with our customers,” Main said. “We will be looking for ways to improve that.”

From the power lines, to the roads — the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) also reflecting on its efforts.

I think for the most part we handled the major roads and interstates very well, but we can always do better. 

DAVIS PARKER, ARDOT SPOKESMAN

Both departments made it through.

“Overall I think we won the war,” Dave Parker with ArDOT said.

“We called upon our customers to lower their electricity demand for the conservation and their efforts helped,” Main said.

Both agencies said they’ll be even better prepared for future events.

“In a normal winter storm event, we’re okay,” Parker said. “This was a good test for sure.”

We work hard every day to restore power as quickly as possible.

PETER MAIN, SWEPCO COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

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