Several hundred people in Van Buren County were without electricity for several hours Thursday, Jan. 9, due to weather-related incidents.
Petit Jean Electric’s Dale Smith said that in Fairfield Bay a pole guy supporting a three-phase junction pole failed at the intersection of Woodlawn and Pine Knot around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. About 650 people along Dunlop, Pine Knot, Woodlawn and around the Chelsea Glade condos lost power.
The top section of a 50-foot pole snapped off due to heavy lines when pole guy failed. Road crews from Fairfield Bay Street Department shoveled sand on ice-covered streets to allow Petit Jean crews to bring in a 55-foot replacement pole. Power was restored to areas around Chelsea Glade condos within a couple of hours once damaged lines were isolated. Most members in the area were without power until 6 p.m. Thursday evening.
The second outage occurred when a car lost control and impacted a three-phase pole on Highway 9 West just west of Highway 65 South. Power to members along Highway 9 from Formosa to Choctaw were out from 3 p.m. until about 6 p.m. Thursday.
The second blast of ice in a month moved in Wednesday, Jan. 8. It closed schools, many businesses and county offices on Thursday.
The weather also kept area law enforcement busy.
Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley said in a Facebook post: "I’ve been working in law enforcement for 18 years and I have never seen the roads as bad as they were last night (Wednesday). County offices are closed today. Please stay home if you can."
Three days after the ice came, temperatures reached into the 60s.
But, according to the Old Farmers Almanac, winter isn’t done yet. Forecasters have predicted a cold and snowy winter for Arkansas.