CLEVELAND COUNTY, Ark – This week’s ice storm affected tens of thousands in south Arkansas as many lost power, in Cleveland County many were left in the dark.
Entergy says they had over 2,000 boots on the ground working to restore power to their customers and the same went for Arkansas Electric Cooperative of Arkansas who said they also had a number of crews working in the southern part of the state.
According to Poweroutage.us in Cleveland County 98% of people on Thursday evening were without power. AECA says the biggest problem they saw were ice coated tree branches falling on power lines.
Rison homeowner, Phillip Norred lll says since Thursday morning his family was without power, and it all started when he heard a loud sound coming from outside.
“I woke up this morning at about 4:30 and the power was off.” Norred said, “I kept hearing tree after tree fall hour after hour and it just got worse.
He says his family has been working to cut down the fall tree branches around their home and help the community.
“We have been going around and making sure our family was secure and going around the community trying to do as much work as we can to get it fixed up,” Norred said.
Norred says his family is doing the best they can to stay warm without power, he hopes the power turns on soon but the one thing he doesn’t have to worry about right now is the lack of food.
“I mean we got food and water,” Norred said.
However, at nearby grocery store AD Shopwise’s General Manager, Mark Morris said it’s their food he is worried about since their power also shut off.
“It’s a lot of wasted money going down the drain.” Morris adds, “the meat and the frozen food and I’m pretty much sure they will be trash.”
Morris said they had to turn away 30 people before Thursday evening.
“It’s quite concerning that a lot of people are going hungry, and we have all this food, but it will all be trash,” Morris said.
Morris said they’re working on a backup plan that will hopefully get they’re business up and running soon.
“We’re waiting to see if we can get a big generator that will get everything going,” Morris said.
Tim Carter says he is also dealing with a power outage but on top of that he says his home was damaged because of large tree branches.
“I got out [of bed] and came out [his home] and looked and went back in [home] and that’s when the whole thing [tree branches] fell over.” Carter adds, “I was afraid that one right there [tree branch] was going to come right on top of us.”
Carter says it’s sad because the home has been in his family for generations, but he is trying not to lose hope.
“We will bounce back the good lord willing,” Carter said.
Both electric companies say they don’t have an estimated time when those in Cleveland County will have their power restored. However, they do advise if people notice a downed power line to not go towards it and instead call for assistance.