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Mayor Stodola views damage from the air

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola this morning toured by air the damage caused by the winter storm.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, Saturday morning, toured by air the winter storm damage to Arkansas' largest city. Below is his report on what he saw and what is being done to restore service to everyone:

I toured the City by air early this morning with Entergy officials to view areas still without power and to observe the multiple Entergy staging areas. Entergy has over 1000 linemen working Little Rock specifically, manning approximately 500 Utility trucks and 500 vegetation trucks that are removing fallen trees and limbs from power lines. Entergy advises that the damage to power lines from this storm is comparable to the damage experienced from the ice storm in 2000.

Approximately 20,000 meters were restored to power yesterday reducing the number still without power to 38,312 as of 11pm last night. Electricity flows from the substations to the circuits, to the laterals, to the transformers and then to individual houses. Entergy reports that by tonight 100% of the circuits will be operational, however that does not ensure that your power will be back on as the laterals, transformers and then individual trouble reports have to be repaired.

Trees and limbs on private property will be removed from power lines by Entergy but will not be removed from the property. Please deposit your yard waste at the curb so LR Public Works can pick it up. We are waiving all bundling requirements. If your service has been ripped off your house you must get an electrician to repair your service. The electrician is required to get a permit from the City but all permit costs are being waived.

IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU HAVE NOT YET CALLED IN TO REPORT THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE POWER, THEN PLEASE CALL 1-800-9OUTAGE. Please don't assume that Entergy knows specifically that you do not have power. Damage to individual lines going to the houses must be reported so they know specific trouble locations. If you have already called, you do not need to call again. Entergy is hopeful that an additional 20,000 meters can be restored today. All areas of the City currently without power are being worked by Entergy.

Entergy opened a Customer Information Center at 900 Louisiana Street this morning (Saturday, 12/29). Entergy Staff will be on hand to visit with individuals that have been, and continue to be affected by power outages. The center will remain open until the majority of the power is restored to the Little Rock area.

City staff continues to work around the clock to address all of the issues caused by this storm and will continue to do so until the City returns to normal.

City public works crews are now focusing on clearing residential streets of snow and ice. Salt crews will continue to salt streets that have an accumulation of ice and snow and as the temperatures warms, crews will move to the day shift to assist with the removal of trees, limbs & brush. Staff is aware of at least 300 locations with limbs and trees in the right-of-way. If you are aware of any tree or storm debris in the right-of-way, please call 311 and report the location.

The City's 311 Center will operate seven days a week, from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM until the City's power is restored and the storm debris is removed from the right-of-way.If residents have storm debris in their yard and can move it to the curb, Public Works will waive any requirements that the limbs be a certain length or width. City staff will pick up and remove all storm debris.

The City's Solid Waste crews continue to pick up residential trash and will assign extra staff to each truck to pick up residential trash that is placed on the curb, if the trash cart is too full. Solid waste crews expect all routes to be caught up by Saturday, December 29th. Solid Waste crews will run Monday's routes on Monday. With January 1, being a holiday, Solid Waste crews will operate on the holiday pick-up schedule next week. With the exception of Monday, all routes will be run one day late.

Waste Management began collecting the Thursday recycling routes on Friday (12/28) and is running the Thursday, Friday and Wednesday routes this weekend.

The Little Rock Fire Department reports that there was one structure fire on Friday (12/28); however, there were no injuries.

The Little Rock Police Department reports that all shifts are fully operational and that the city is being served as it would under normal conditions.

The City's Planning Department will waive the cost of reconnection fees and inspection fees for any meters that were damaged due to the ice storm. A Master Electrician needs to obtain the permit on behalf of the individual needing the work completed.

The City has dedicated the Southwest Community Center, located at6401 Baseline Road, as a warming center. It will be in operation today (12/27) from 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM and from 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. The Center will operate through January 1, 2013, or until it has been determined that a majority of the City's power has been restored.

The City has dedicated the Dunbar Community Center, located at 1001 West 16th, as a warming center and overnight shelter. It is equipped with cots, food and essentials. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own bedding, cell phone chargers, snacks, entertainment, etc. This Center will also operate through January 1, 2013, or until it has been determined that a majority of the City's power has been restored. The number for the Dunbar Community Center is 376-1084.

Upon individual assessment of need, the Little Rock Fire Department will provide transportation for the elderly and disabled to the shelter or other locations for shelter.

If you have any additional needs, please call 311.

Thank you.
Mark Stodola
Mayor

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