Kerri Case

Extreme Cold Temperatures Slowing Power Restoration


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Extremely cold temperatures have hit Arkansas. While there has been no significant precipitation in the Entergy Arkansas territory, cold weather alone can lead to power outages, some of which may take longer to restore than normal.

“Temperatures of 25 degrees or less result in an abnormally high demand for electric power,” said Melanie Taylor, vice president of customer service for Entergy Arkansas, Inc. “In areas where we have large numbers of all-electric homes, the demand on really cold days is even higher than on the hottest days of summer. The extra stress on the system can cause isolated overloads of our power-distribution system.”

The challenge with cold-weather outages is compounded by the need to take extra care when restoring power. When power is disrupted during winter, customers tend to leave their heating systems and appliances turned on, creating extremely high energy demand all at once when power is restored.

“We have devices in place designed to protect our system during times of normal, day-to-day operations,” said Taylor. “During weather extremes, we follow a methodical and calculated process to bring customers back online after an outage that differs from our normal restoration. Rather than simply energizing an entire power line at once, we must bring customers back online one section at a time to avoid damage to our system and make the situation worse. Following this process takes more time to restore power to affected customers than if we were able to restore the entire line at once.”

Customers should call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243) to report downed or dangling power lines, poles or other damaged equipment.