STAR CITY, Ark. — It’s been about five days for thousands of Arkansans without power following last week’s winter storm.
Monday, over half of Lincoln County had no electricity, more than anywhere else in the state. Energy companies reported over 3,500 homes and businesses without power, which is about 69% of customers.
The aftermath of the frozen conditions can be seen throughout the western side of Star City. Fallen trees and limbs rest on power lines. West Dogwood Drive even had power lines from a toppled pole still across it.
Without power since Thursday, Charles Case and his wife Donna are running multiple generators a day. Keeping food from spoiling and the essentials running is costing them $50 dollars a day in gas.
“We’ll never, never complain about the electric bill no more,” Charles said.
It’s a similar story about three miles away for Jerry Hoyt. Hoyt, his wife, and his daughter lost Power Wednesday afternoon.
“We were afraid that if we got outside that something may fall and, you know, and hit you because it was and everywhere my yard was a disaster,” Hoyt said.
He could not head into town in either direction during the worst of the ice event. Thursday someone passed him gallons of gas over a toppled tree on the highway so his generator could continue running.
Jerry Hoyt has neighbors a mile away in both directions who have had their power restored since before the weekend. However, Hoyt is unable to power his business, his water heater, or his laundry machines.
Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas spokesman Rob Roedel reports they are in step three of a five-step process in getting everyone back to normal. All transmission lines have been restored and all substations are now energized. Crews are currently working 16-hour days rebuilding or repairing distribution lines.
“They are making progress. You can’t see it just yet because some of the progress that they are making is on crucial infrastructure that has to be repaired before we can begin restoring service to homes,” Roedel explained.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas couldn’t give an estimate yet for when power is expected to be fully reconnected in Lincoln, but multiple homeowners are hearing rumblings of Thursday.
Hoyt said he is thankful for all the work linemen have done. He says next time he’ll make sure to be better prepared.
“We’re definitely going to have a bigger generator because I don’t want to go through this again,” Hoyt said.