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Winter Storms Knock out Power for Thousands in ArkansasAired December 29, 2000 - 1:45 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHAD MEYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, up toward the Northeast -- it's what we called a nor'easter. We used to hear about these things when we were kids, and so many times in the past 10 years I've had people say to me, "What happened to those winters we had when I was a kid?"
Well, so far, this one has really turned out to be one of those memorable winters that your children may tell their children. And it certainly has been ugly across parts of Arkansas, across parts of Oklahoma, a lot of ice down here across the south-central states. All of that ice really has turned into a mess for the folks who live in Tulsa, all the way down to Dallas-Ft. Worth.
We showed you the pictures yesterday of the I-20 as it was basically shut down west of Dallas because of the ice on the roadways there. They had a lot of ice in Arkansas. And joining me now, Hugh McDonald from Entergy Arkansas, the president there.
Basically, you've had hundreds -- literally hundreds of thousands of people without power. What can you tell me now about what it's like in Arkansas?
HUGH MCDONALD, PRESIDENT, ENTERGY ARKANSAS: Well, Chad, I'm in Hot Springs right now, and Hot Springs, I would say, is probably our worst-hit area. It's ground zero of this storm.
This is actually the second major disaster that has hit our company in as many weeks. We were just recovering from the last storm that blew through here right before Christmas, and by the time our guys got back home, they turned back around to come back and recover. This is probably our -- at least our second-worst, if not our worst storm in history here, for our company.
MEYERS: Mr. McDonald, I was just on your Web site, because I obviously have power here. A couple of tips for folks that we usually don't tell them. One I saw was turn off your range and your space heaters if you don't have power. Why?
MCDONALD: Well, just -- just when the power gets back on and if you've got a lot of appliances, a lot of load back on -- on -- turned on, by the time you get power back on, that will really cause a huge impact to our electrical system all at once. And we like to kind of transition and gradually increase that load over time. MEYERS: Also, people with generators, they should have the circuit breakers turned off to the outside so that power doesn't feed back to those breakers, correct?
MCDONALD: That's exactly right. Generators are really a hot commodity right now. A lot of people are hooking them up, and that's normal in these sorts of events. But we -- we urge customers to make sure it's disconnected from our system so the electricity doesn't backfeed into our system and actually injure one of our folks.
MEYERS: Mr. McDonald, we thank you for your time and we know you have a lot of work to do. So please, we know that you have probably days and days of work on end and those workers have already worked so much. So thank you for your time and thank you for your hard work, and the folks of Arkansas thank you as well.
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