Stormy spring leaves thousands without power


Spring storms swept across Arkansas, causing extensive damage to some electric co-op distribution systems

Challenging terrain made power restoration difficult in the aftermath of the April 12 storms that swept across south Arkansas. photo Chance Allmon

and leaving thousands without power.

Only two weeks after an EF3 tornado touched down in Jonesboro on March 28, leaving about 2,200 members of Craighead Electric Cooperative without power, another severe thunderstorm swept across south Arkansas on Easter Sunday, April 12. It caused serious damage at Ashley-Chicot Electric,
C & L Electric, Ouachita Electric, South Central Arkansas Electric and Woodruff Electric. More than 50,000 electric co-op members lost power in those storms, which created powerful straight-line winds.

Hardest hit was C & L Electric based in Star City. The high winds downed trees and power lines across the co-op’s eight-county service area, leaving more than 21,000 members without power at the peak of the outage.

Line crews from the co-ops were assisted by crews from other co-ops not affected by the storms, as well as by Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AECI), the statewide service organization for Arkansas’ 17 electric co-ops.

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), a wholesale power supplier for the state’s 17 electric distribution co-ops, worked with C & L to install a mobile substation in record time. The substation was key in restoring power to C & L members.