Arkansans hit hard with power outages, declared state of emergen - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Arkansans hit hard with power outages, declared state of emergency

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -- Tens of thousands of Arkansans will be in the dark Tuesday night while electric crews work to restore power from this morning freezing conditions.

Outages became such an issue Tuesday that Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe declared a state of emergency because of so many residents without power.

Outages for Entergy Arkansas are hovered around 40,000 Tuesday, and it wants customers to know rising outages means longer wait times. The good news is extra additional help from surrounding states is either in the state, or on the way.

As rain and sleet came down during winter weather, conditions caused wires and power poles to break. One thing that didn't fall was the number of Arkansans without power.

"As you can see just today alone we went from single digits to double digits in a couple of hours," said Julie Munsell with Entergy Arkansas as she showed us an outage map of the state.

Those maps showed Garland County as an area hit hard with more than 8,000 outages at one time, but others counties like Pulaski, Conway, and St. Francis experience more have more than 3,000 without power.

Entergy is bringing in extra workers. It reports more than 2,300 assisting working are coming into Arkansas to help get the lights back on.

"Well they're coming from several states around us, including Mississippi, Texas Louisiana. We have both crews that we do contract to do work with, and we also have some relief coming from our sister utilities," Munsell added.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas said it had an additional 16,000 customers without power Tuesday night.

In Garland County the American Red Cross of Arkansas has opened an emergency shelter at the First United Methodist Church on Pratt Road in Hot Springs for those residents without electricity.