Entergy tackles restoration full force

Friday, February 6, 2009
An Entergy crew assesses damage to a power line in Rector.

Current projections indicate portions of Rector may have power restored as early as today (Wednesday), while the remainder of town could have lights back on as early as this weekend.

City officials met Monday with Entergy representative David Burnette at the Rector Community Center for an update on the current outage and where the town stands as far as restoration efforts are concerned.

The prognosis was fairly optimistic. Of the approximately 170 workers in the area, about 120 have been assigned to the downtown Rector area, working to replace downed poles and lines. Residents were likely to notice the crews, as nearly every block in Rector was visited by lift trucks Monday.

The first efforts have been along Highway 49, as Entergy works to restore power to what Burnette referred to as "trunk lines." These are the larger power relays from which power flows through on "branch lines" to the remainder of the city.

By working on the trunk lines first, Entergy will be following its priority list, restoring power to key businesses such as Harps, Rector Medical Clinic, Family Care Clinic and the Snappy Mart and Flash Market fuel stations.

As power is restored in Rector, the workers here, along with those in the Gem Hill area near Campbell, will be working toward each other, covering the smaller St. Francis and Greenway areas. At this point, Burnette says he expects power to be restored in St. Francis before Greenway residents get relief. St. Francis is projected along the same lines of Rector. Greenway is expected to be without power into next week.

Still, the news is considered much more optimistic than initially thought.

"When we got up Wednesday morning, my first statement was that it would take two to three weeks before power was restored," said Rector mayor Ron Kemp. "I think if you have the main power restored to our trunk line by Wednesday, most people will think that's great progress."

Entergy has an information desk at the Rector Community Center. There residents will be able to get up-to-date information on the restoration status.

Persons making use of generators are encouraged to disconnect them when workers are in their area. In many cases, homes using generators are bypassed due to the danger of an electrical backfeed. Burnette said in most cases workers will attempt to contact residents in homes with generators when work is being done in the area.

If outages continue, persons are encouraged to contact Entergy at 1-800-9-OUTAGE.

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