BRYANT, AR - Nearly 7,000 customers in Saline County have power back after spending more than 4 hours in the dark Sunday.
Several businesses had to turn customers away due to the outage. Entergy says Bryant, parts of Bauxite, and Benton lost power just before 11 o'clock Sunday morning until just after 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon. The power outage was a huge inconvenience for shoppers and a huge profit loss for restaurants and stores.
Lights were out at Wal-Mart in Bryant, where Brian Williams had to cash a check. "I think I'll go to another store, but I'd really like to go to Wal-Mart. I don't know what to do really. It's my favorite place."
No food was served at Cracker Barrel where assistant manager Tammy Vignoe and her staff just sat down on rocking chairs and waited for the lights to come back on. "At 11 o'clock they just went off and you hear a big old sigh."
Drivers couldn't fill up at the gas station, either. Strong wind blowing through Saline County knocked a tree onto a transmission line in a remote location. Entergy spokesperson David Lewis says it happened in a difficult to access area. "Our crews have specialized equipment to get in there and get the tree off the lines."
Traffic was stop and go at intersections where signals were out as drivers realized the whole town was without power. Bobbi Bowling lives in Bryant and was going to Wal-Mart to run some errands. "Don't get to do that until the power gets back up."
A dark restaurant means business is a wash. Cracker Barrel employees patiently wait it out. Vignoe says, "We're just trying to do the best we can to take care of our guests when we do get open again."
An inconvenience for some was more of an emergency for others. Bowling has a newborn baby. "Her milk has to be warmed and our apartments are all electricity, so we have no gas whatsoever."
Entergy crews unsure how long it would take to restore power ended up fixing the power outage faster than originally expected. "We understand what a huge inconvenience it is for customers to be without power and we apologize for that. We appreciate costumer's patience as we work through these problems. It's just part of the nature of the business sometimes things go wrong. We address it as quickly as we can and move on."
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