Entergy Arkansas officials say that tornadoes, floods, high heat and pre-summer planned maintenance in Arkansas have combined for a "perfect storm" of challenges to meet customer demands for power.
Entergy reported that it has already reduced demand by curtailing some industrial and wholesale customers through special agreements.
“This is a very unique situation, and we are facing significant challenges,” said Entergy Arkansas President and CEO Hugh McDonald.
Damage to Entergy’s transmission facilities in Arkansas from several April storms have presented a number of challenges for the power producer in a four-state region. The electricity giant said that "massive resources" are focused on getting back to full service, but new river flooding may hamper those efforts.
"The threat of Mississippi River flooding means some generating plants along the river, as well as some transmission and distribution lines, may be restricted or taken offline due to limited transmission availability across the system," the company said in a press release.
Entergy also said that unseasonably high temperatures are creating additional demands on the power grid as customers use more electricity to cool homes and businesses. This is occurring at a time when some plants are already offline for routine scheduled maintenance in preparation for summer’s peak demands.
“We’re working to import purchased power and we’ve curtailed power sales to those with whom we have agreements, but it’s important that our customers are aware that we could face power shortages until these conditions improve.” McDonald warned.
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to 697,000 customers in 63 counties in Arkansas. It is the state’s largest electric utility.