NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Sleet and freezing rain fell across much of Northwest Arkansas on Monday, with more chances of precipitation expected over the next few days. The good news is, while last week’s winter storm brought thousands of power outages, electric providers aren’t expecting many outages, if any, this time around.
According to both SWEPCO and Ozarks Electric Cooperative, crews will be on standby Tuesday and Wednesday in case any power outages occur. SWEPCO stationed more linemen in the NWA area in preparation.
While last week’s storm was snow, this week’s is ice, which can have a different impact on the electric grid.
“Typically, when it gets to around like half an inch of ice accumulating on a power line, it can start to weigh down that line in the same way that it might weigh down a tree limb,” said SWEPCO Spokesperson, Michelle Marcotte.
Ashley Harris with Ozarks Electric Cooperative said the conditions look promising, with few chances of power outages.
“At this point, it looks like a quarter of an inch and less wind is really going to let us have a better scenario than we had last week,” said Harris.
Still, it’s always good to be prepared. Marcotte recommends keeping your phone and backup batteries charged. If you think you may lose power, try to make plans with friends and family in advance, especially if you have a medical condition that requires electricity.
If you have a power outage with Ozarks Electric, you can go to their website or download their app to report an outage. You can also call their member services line at 1-800-521-6144.
If you have a power outage with SWEPCO, the best way to report an outage is with the SWEPCO app. You can also call the hazard line at 1-888-218-3919.