Loss of Entergy transimission line causes local power outage
A widespread electrical power outage on Sunday night in Benton was quickly corrected, according to Terry McKinney, general manager of Benton Utilities.
McKinney said the area affected involved "approximately one-third of the city."
The incident occurred about 9 p.m. when Benton Utilities "lost the Benton North Substation and the outage extended pretty much to everything north of the interstate, which included Walmart and a few other stores on the south side."
McKinney noted that Saline Memorial Hospital was not affected by the outage.
"We called Entergy dispatch to find out why the Benton North Substation was down, and they responded by telling me that the Mabelvale to Hot Springs transmission line had gone down and they did not know where the problem was, but they had dispatched servicemen."
Upon learning this, McKinney said he contacted Jeff Barnett, electric department manager, "and a decision was made to transfer load and get the city back up by transferring the load to the Alcoa and the Benton South substations."
"Entergy indicated they did not know how long the transmission line would be down," McKinney explained. "Jeff and the line crew were able to get the load switched in about 25 minutes. All customers were on by 10:19 p.m. last evening.
"If it had been hot, we would not have been able to transfer the loads, but since it was cool and raining we were able to redirect the load," he said.
On Monday morning Entergy had restored the transmission line and loads were transferred back to the Benton North Substation and "everything was back to normal," McKinney said.