May 19, 2010 Edition

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Storm results in power
outages, some damage

Gretchen Hunt
Editor

The storm system that moved through Lawrence County on Sunday evening caused power outages in several areas of the county.

In addition, there were reports of trees down and some structural damage in western Lawrence County, specifically in the Strawberry and Saffell area.

There were several reports of fallen trees, including one that fell across an occupied vehicle on Highway 361. Saffell and Lynn fire departments responded. The body of the tree fell in front of the car with the branches hitting the car, but there were no injuries.

Local correspondence in this edition also includes storm reports from Sunday including some roof damage to homes in the Strawberry area.

Monty Williams, vice president of marketing and communications with Craighead Electric Corporation, said approximately 1,000 members in the Strawberry and Lynn area lost power after the storm hit.

"About half of those came back on after two hours and the remaining 500 came back on gradually as repairs were made to the lines," he said. "We had two poles that broke and lots of line down due to large trees falling across them."

Williams said it was about 10 hours before the last member was back on.

Some Entergy customers, especially in the northern part of Walnut Ridge, also experienced an outage, but it was not due to downed lines.

David Burnette, customer service manager with Entergy, said the company's north substation, located off Highway 67B North, near the Plaza Center, took a direct lightning hit.

"The lightning struck one of the lightning arrestors and damaged two switches," he said. "This shot of lightning caused the substation breaker to open and two circuits were out of service."

Burnette said the substation went out of service at 6:35 p.m., and combined the two circuits combined to serve 1,012 customers.

"Whenever there is lightning damage such as this, the substation transformer remains out of service until technicians can perform an inspection for other damage," he said. "Our service personnel were dispatched immediately, and once the problem was known, procedures were put into place to isolate the substation and reroute power feeds from other sources in town to re-energize the two circuits."

With the exception of five or six other isolated outages, Burnette said power was restored to the north side of town at approximately 9 p.m. Substation repair personnel were on the job Tuesday making the necessary repairs inside the station.

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