In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic creating both health and economic concerns, a line of severe thunderstorms on Easter Sunday ripped through the state, snapping and uprooting trees, damaging homes and other structures, downing power lines, and leaving thousands without power.
The damage was primarily caused by very strong straight-line winds. Water-saturated ground and the severe winds caused huge trees to uproot and topple onto power lines and broke utility poles in half.
“Customers are likely already feeling anxiety and stress from COVID-19 constraints placed on families, but please know our crews are working as quickly as they safely can to restore power and return lives back to some sort of normalcy,” said Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Laura Landreaux. “We ask for your patience as we get through this together.”
Landreaux said early assessments for some areas reveal damage comparable to the back-to-back ice storms in December of 2000.
While there were power outages throughout Southeast Arkansas, the most significant, in terms of the number of customers affected, seemed to be in Monticello, Wilmar, Warren and Hermitage.
In Monticello, there were 5,674 Entergy customers without power, according to a Tuesday morning assessment by Entergy. Damage in the Monticello and Wilmar area included 26 broken poles, 47 spans of downed wire and more than 30 additional pieces of damaged equipment. At the same time, there were 4,182 customers without power in the Warren and Hermitage service area, according to the Entergy assessment.