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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Winter storm roundup: Phillips County experiences minor damage

  • Until around midnight Sunday evening it seemed as though Phillips County was again going to miss the brunt of the latest winter storm to rip through the state. However, as Sunday turned into Monday and as the temperatures took an icy dip this portion of the Delta found itself in the grips of the worst ice storm since 1994.
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  • Until around midnight Sunday evening it seemed as though Phillips County was again going to miss the brunt of the latest winter storm to rip through the state. However, as Sunday turned into Monday and as the temperatures took an icy dip this portion of the Delta found itself in the grips of the worst ice storm since 1994.
    Almost all of Phillips County was without power for at least a short period of time. For some, power was restored within a few minutes of the first reported power outages. For others, the wait was much longer before the lights and heat were finally restored.
    Road conditions made early morning driving almost impossible and all area schools shut down for the day. Many businesses, including restaurants, had to close due to no electricity. Adding to the woes, a light snowfall began to descend on the area accumulating on tree limbs and power lines on top of an already thick layer of ice.
    The Helena-West Helena Fire Department was involved in a least one rescue effort when a tree fell on a house in the early hours of Monday morning.
    Entergy, Arkansas’ largest utility, reported that during the peak outage as many as 27,600 Arkansans were without power. The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, which includes 17 distribution cooperatives across the state, reported that 8,000 customers were without electric services as late as Monday morning, bringing the total to almost 36,000 statewide.
    Between 50 and 75 utility trucks and an uncounted number of linemen were in the Helena-West Helena area throughout the crisis, keeping most outages to only hours instead of days. By early Wednesday morning a caravan of utility trucks was rolling out of the area to other hard hit areas of the state.
    Phillips County was among the hardest hit areas of the eastern Arkansas counties, which also included Crittenden, Mississippi, St. Francis, Woodruff and Craighead counties.
    By early Monday evening several fast food restaurants including Wendy’s and Sonic were back in operation and catering to a large number of customers who had been unable to provide themselves with a hot meal over the course of the long day.
    The winter storm also forced the postponement of a couple area events including “Mark Twain: 100 Years Later, 90 Minutes of History and Humor” has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. this Monday, March 10 at the Malco Theater. The performance is free.  Also the Teacher’s Appreciation Day program scheduled for Tuesday has been rescheduled for 5 p.m., Thursday, March 13 at J.F. Wahl Elementary School.

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