Entergy estimates storm cost up to $65 million


LITTLE ROCK — The Christmas Day ice and snow storm that left more than 194,000 Entergy Arkansas customers across the state without power cost the company $55 million to $65 million, the utility said Thursday.

Entergy said it plans to file a rate proposal with state Public Service Commission in March to recover the cost.

The storm that dumped ice and snow across much of the state — up to 15 inches of snow in some areas — caused widespread power outages. Seven counties were particularly hard hit. Gov. Mike Beebe has asked President Obama to issue a disaster declaration for Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski and Saline.

Some Entergy customers in Garland, Hot Spring and Pulaski counties were without power for a week.

The damage estimates included costs for restoring power — more than 4,000 electrical utility workers from across the region traveled to the state to help restore power lines, repairing lines and replacing electrical facilities, Entergy spokeswoman Julie Munsell said.

During the aftermath of the storm, Beebe called out the Arkansas National Guard to help with ambulance service in Pulaski and Faulkner counties, and the governor declared all of Arkansas a state disaster area.

Fourteen National Guard members with seven military ambulances also were called out to assist first responders in Conway, Little Rock and Jacksonville.