June 29, 2011 Edition

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Damaging winds, in excess of 60 mph, during a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday morning caused damage in Lawrence County. Pictured is Crossroads Antiques, located near the intersection of Highway 63 and Highway 91, south of Hoxie. The roof was blown off the building and part of it was thrown on top of a parked tractor-trailer. Ray J's Wrecker and Garage Service responded and cut part of the tin roof off the parked vehicle. Rick Burris, owner of Crossroads Antiques, said the building also suffered minor water damage inside.
TD Photo ~ Shantelle Prater

Storm results in power
outages, property damage

Gretchen Hunt

Power outages, downed trees and some structural damage were reported after a storm system swept across Lawrence County early Tuesday morning.

Downed trees caused problems throughout the county, blocking roads and pulling down electric lines. Highway 25 between Black Rock and Powhatan was closed after a large tree fell across both lanes.

Structural damage reported included trees on houses, as well as roof damage to homes and other buildings. Crossroads Antiques, located near the intersection of Highway 91 and Highway 63, lost its entire roof, some of which blew onto a nearby parked 18-wheeler.

Both Craighead Electric and Entergy reported outages following the storm.

David Burnette, customer service manager with Entergy, said the company lost its first circuit at 6 a.m. Tuesday, putting 536 customers in the dark.

"As the storm blew through our Walnut Ridge network, the outage total peaked at 7,629 customers without power by 8:30 a.m." he said. "The outages were widespread, but the hardest hit areas were Hardy, Imboden, Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge and Marmaduke."

Burnette said additional contract linemen were brought in, as well as out-of-network scouts, to assist with restoration.

"Right now, the customer outage count for the whole network is just over 1000," Burnette said Tuesday afternoon. "At this point, it looks favorable to restore service to the majority of these customers today, but there will be some scattered outages we won't be able to get to I'm fairly certain."

As of Tuesday afternoon, 30 Entergy customers were still out of power in Ravenden, 60 in the Powhatan/Black Rock area and 150 in Walnut Ridge.

Brian Duncan, CEO of Craighead Electric, said the cooperative's distribution system was pummeled by the winds, including poles being knocked down in the Black Rock and Imboden area.

"Service was knocked out to approximately 3,400 members by the impact of the storm," he said. "By mid morning, an estimated 1,200 of the co-op's members were without power in Lawrence, Greene and north Craighead counties."

He said service was expected to be restored to everyone by Tuesday evening.

"All available cooperative's personnel are working to restore the power," Duncan said. "About half dozen poles have been damaged by falling trees from high winds."

Anyone who still has an outage on the Craighead Electric system can report it by calling 1-888-771-7772.

In addition the Lawrence County Regional Water District was affected by storm damage in the Imboden and Annieville area. Water service was continued through the use of two generators, and power was expected to be restored Tuesday evening.

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