Weather impacts Faulkner County power, railroad functions

Cold weather left its mark on Faulkner County on Thursday, as below-freezing temperatures impacted local power and railroad operations.

 

Conway saw a recorded low of 9 degrees Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Little Rock.

Faulkner County residents are no longer in the dark after a power outage impacted more than 2,000 residents early Thursday.

Entergy Arkansas Inc. reported 2,077 outages at 11:25 a.m. Thursday in the county, with 3,535 outages reported statewide at that time.

According to the Associated Press, about 9,500 Entergy customers awoke without power in Arkansas.

Faulkner County residents impacted were in south Conway – Lollie Bottoms, Old Military Road and Highway 89 N. – and the Springhill area – south of Kaney Ridge Road and north of Cadron Creek.

Power was restored by Thursday evening.

Conway Corporation CEO Richie Arnold said he wasn’t aware of any outages in Conway on Thursday.

Railroad safety arms at the crossing at North Street and Parkway Avenue were also stuck in the down positions from 2 a.m. until mid-afternoon Thursday.

Jeff DeGraff, director of corporate relations and media at Union Pacific, said the maintenance crew began working on the signal Thursday morning. Work finished by 1:30 p.m. later in the day.

“With the freezing weather last night, it causes some issues with our equipment,” DeGraff said.

He explained that the temperatures interrupted an electric current that runs through the rails. When a train comes through to trip the current, railroad measures such as safety arms and warning lights are released.

“When we have weather like we did last night, if there is water or mud on the tracks and it freezes, it can create interruption in the signal,” DeGraff said.

The area was cleaned and work on the signals was completed to make sure advanced warning is given of an oncoming train.

A high of 32 degrees is forecast for Friday with a low of 14 degrees Friday night. A wintry mix is possible into the weekend.

Forecasters with the NWS have placed a 60 percent chance of a wintry mix for Conway before noon Sunday.

To report outages to Entergy, call 1-800-968-8243. Conway Corporation customers can call 501-450-6000 to report an outage.

(Staff writer Brandon Riddle can be reached by email at brandon.riddle@thecabin.net, by phone at 505-1215 or on Twitter @BrandonCRiddle. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to thecabin.net. Send us your news at thecabin.net/submit)

 

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