Co-op leaders meet with Arkansas’ congressional delegation-Weather almanac


 Representatives from Arkansas’ electric cooperatives gathered in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Legislative Conference on April 9-10.

While at the conference, more than 100 co-op leaders from Arkansas took the opportunity to discuss issues of importance with members of Congress and their staffs.

“It is important that our congressional delegation in Washington hear from us and understand the issues we face as we strive to provide reliable and affordable power and help foster a strong rural economy,” said Kirkley Thomas, vice president of governmental affairs for Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., (AECI).

Thomas thanked U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman, as well as members of their staff, for the time and hospitality while the Arkansas group was in the nation’s capital.

Co-op leaders discussed issues ranging from protecting the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) that provide hydropower generation to electric co-ops, enhancing rural development programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and investing in rural broadband.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, right, with Rick Love, a director for First Electric Cooperative.

U.S. Rep. French Hill speaks to Arkansas electric co-op leaders.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, right, visits with Mark Cayce, general manager of Ouachita Electric Cooperative








From left to right, Rob Boaz, president/CEO of Carroll Electric Cooperative; U.S. Rep. Steve Womack; Mitchell Johnson, president/CEO of Ozarks Electric Cooperative.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman answers questions from Arkansas electric co-op representatives at the annual Legislative Conference in Washington D.C.








  • On May 1, 1903, temperatures dropped down to 24 degrees at Pond, near Gravette.
  • On May 1, 1929, a tornado struck Brinkley, killing nine people.
  • The temperature reached 100 degrees at Jonesboro on May 2, 1901.
  • A tornado touched down near Dover, killing one person, on May 5, 1961. Other tornadoes hit Conway and Hot Springs.
  • On May 9, 1927, Arkansas sustained a major tornado outbreak with the worst impacts in the northeast and south central parts of the state. There were 25 tornadoes reported and 71 people were killed, including 24 in Strong, in Union County.
  • The Red River in southwest Arkansas reached peak levels of flooding, cresting at 34.2 feet on May 12, 1990.
  • On May 18, 1849, the state suffered crop losses due to a heavy frost.
  • A tornado caused damage from Manila to the Blytheville Air Force Base on May 26, 1968.
  • On May 28, 1979, Dumas was hit with a flash flood.
  • On May 30, 1993, thunderstorms and heavy rains led to the cancellation of the annual fireworks display at Riverfest in Little Rock.
  • On May 30, 1977, the temperature reached 106 degrees at West Memphis.

Severe weather tip

 Lightning strikes the United States about 25 million times a year, killing an average of 47 people with hundreds more severely injured, according to the National Weather Service. Here are some things you need to know to stay safe when lightning strikes:

  • There is no place outside that is safe when thunderstorms are in the area.
  • Stay in a safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
  • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
  • When you hear thunder, immediately move to a safe shelter, which is a substantial building with electricity and plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with the windows up.

Source: National Weather Service.