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Arkansas officials concerned for power outages



Little Rock, Arkansas — Arkansas was hit with a record-breaking snowstorm last February.

Fortunately, there were only a few power outages, but this year could be different. There’s a winter storm that’s expected to have ice and freezing rain which could damage power lines.

“It would amaze you the amount of extra weight that could create on those power lines, and it simply makes them fall and snap,” said Rob Roedel with Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

According to electric companies across the state, they are getting ready for the winter weather and lining up hundreds of crews ahead of the storm.

Two of the companies that are getting ready for the weather are Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and First Electric Cooperative.

“We have everything we need in case we have to respond to an event,” said Tonya Sexton with First Electric Cooperative.

There are 900 electric cooperatives throughout the country and they can provide mutual aid to any state needing help.

According to Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, new technology can help pinpoint where the ice will impact Arkansans most and can help them respond quickly.

“We can tell within a 5-mile radius within hours where it’s going to hit,” said Roedel.

But this preparation is just a part of their normal.

“It’s what we do every day. One day we could have a tornado, the next week we could have an ice storm. We’re in Arkansas,” said Roedel.