HOUSTON (Reuters) - About 150,000 homes and businesses in Arkansas remained without electricity late Wednesday following a Christmas Day winter storm packing snow, high winds and tornadoes.
Entergy said the number of outages in the state peaked at 191,000 on Tuesday.
The storm dumped record snowfall for a Christmas Day in North Texas and Arkansas and left two people dead in weather-related accidents. Tornadoes touched down in Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.
Entergy Corp’s Arkansas utility took the brunt of the storm’s fury. Dangerous road conditions and the continued threat of falling trees slowed power-restoration work, Entergy Arkansas said on its website.
“Nature dealt us a one-two punch yesterday with winter precipitation and high winds that severely damaged our electrical grid and left us with dangerous working conditions for our repair crews,” said Hugh McDonald, Entergy Arkansas president.
The utility said it has requested nearly 4,000 workers from other utilities to assist with restoration work, but warned that some customers might be without power for seven days or more.
Utilities in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama were able to make repairs to most customers by midday Wednesday.
Southern Co’s Alabama Power unit said about 2,000 outages remained, mostly in the Mobile area which was hit by tornadoes, down from a statewide peak of 32,000 a day earlier.
The severe weather was moving eastward Wednesday, with forecasters saying heavy snow was possible for the Ohio Valley.
Reporting by Eileen O'Grady in Houston; editing by Jim Marshall