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Crews Work To Restore Power After Severe Storms

Maintenance crews are working to restore power to multiple homes after severe weather swept through the state Wednesday evening, officials said Thursday.

The cold front produced a series of thunderstorms and tornadoes across several portions of Arkansas, leaving more than 10,000 residents without power. The outages were caused primarily by lightning and high winds that accompanied the storms, which subsided by Thursday morning.

Entergy Arkansas spokesman David Lewis says while the most severe damage took place in Van Buren county and surrounding areas, remaining outages are more common in other locations.

"As of now, we're down to just over 1,000 outages remaining," Lewis said. "Those are mostly in Union county, which is where El Dorado is, and the rest are just scattered here and there."

Authorities say all power should be restored by Thursday evening.  A map of current outages can be found at

Meanwhile Gov. Mike Beebe has declared 15 counties as disaster areas following strong storms across the state that included tornadoes and left five people injured.

Beebe also announced Thursday that he's released $10,000 from the Governor's Disaster Fund to help pay for the immediate costs of responding to the storms.

The declaration makes it easier for local governments to coordinate with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies allows the local governments to better utilize Arkansas Department of Correction work crews to assist with debris removal.  

The counties included in the declaration are Cleburne, Conway, Garland, Hot Spring, Independence, Izard, Lincoln, Montgomery, Polk, Sharp, Stone, Union, Van Buren, White, and Yell.