Hurricane Sandy may have been 900 miles away from Arkansas, but the state is feeling effects from the storm in other ways.
Unlike Katrina in 2005, when cars with out-of-state plates filled area hotel parking lots, the local impact is a bit more indirect this time. There's been canceled flights and delayed earnings reports, as well as this:
- Entergy Arkansas Inc. sent 131 linemen, contractors and support personnel to the East Coast, hitting areas between New York and Maryland. Another 78 are due to go out after the weekend.
Arkansas Electric Cooperatives is sending 34 workers to the East Coast to assist in restoring power. The co-op says 12 bucket trucks, three digger-derrick trucks, 10 pick-up trucks and other equipment are on its way to Pearl River, N.Y., just over the northern border of New Jersey, to help efforts being led by Con-Edison.
Millions of Americans (and 145,000 Canadians) have been in the dark since Monday when the hurricane made landfall, and officials say that it could be more than a week in New York City alone until some residents get their lights turned back on.
- The American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas is also sending out workers to help assist their counterparts in the affected states. Three trucks from Arkansas will be available to distribute food, water, blankets, flood cleanup kits and other items. Each truck is able to carry up to 500 hot meals.
- Plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. in Pennsylvania and Maryland survived the storm without too many disruptions. Operations were to be back in business late Wednesday, though obviously, deliveries to eastern markets may be delayed for the forseeable future.
- The effects of Hurricane Sandy in Arkansas are certainly not comparable with the suffering in the East Coast states, but there have been inconviences at home. With New York City the center of the financial world, digital credit card readers have been sputtering with many websites unable to fill orders.
Kerry McCoy, owner of Arkansas Flag & Banner in Little Rock, says the company's website was one that took a hard hit, a problem for a flagmaker less than a week before a national election.
Customers in the showroom also saw the effects of digital downtime. "We just took their information down on paper," McCoy said, "and entered it after the system returned."