NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — As of Thursday afternoon, a few thousand people were still waiting for their power to come back on in Northwest Arkansas. Ozarks Electric Cooperative and SWEPCO said a lot of progress has been made since Wednesday, but there’s still more work to be done.
For Ozarks Electric, most of the unrestored power is in Hindsville, Elkins and Wesley. SWEPCO is reporting most of its outages in Fayetteville. When the winter storm first hit, over 12,000 people without power used Ozarks Electric. For SWEPCO, there were over 21,000 customers without power.
SWEPCO’s estimated power recovery time for all of Northwest Arkansas is 10 p.m. tonight. Ozarks Electric said everyone should expect their power back on tonight or early Friday.
The big difference between this weather event and others, according to Ashley Harris with Ozarks Electric, is the number of isolated calls.
“Rather than large, widespread neighborhoods or areas, it may be one or two in a neighborhood that requires a truck and a crew for each individual home,” said Harris.
These power outages come as another winter storm is in the forecast that could bring ice instead of snow.
“With this storm, what we saw predominantly was the snow accumulating on the tree limbs and the tree limbs coming in contact with the lines and causing outages. During ice storms, a lot of times what we see is we actually see the ice accumulating on the actual line itself,” said SWEPCO spokesperson, Michelle Marcotte.
Both companies are proud of how hard the lineman worked to get the job done and restore power to Northwest Arkansas.
“They get up in the middle of the night, when it’s their shift, and they work very diligently to make sure our members have power even when they don’t have powers themselves. They have been working so hard, and we’re so proud of them,” said Harris.