Strong winds of up to 60 mph and heavy rains tore through Washington County, giving utility and emergency crews plenty to clean up Wednesday afternoon.
“We got several calls for trees into buildings, trees in the power lines, and power lines down,” Firefighter Nate Pianalto said, “We had transformer fires, and we had a grass fire.”
Officials said one area of Wagon Wheel Road had a small brush fire near a power line, along with three intersections of traffic signals without power.
“We were just seeing a grid of power being out on the east side of town,” Technician Bret Bolinger said, “And we had two intersections there that were without power, and that was our first initial call.”
Bolinger said Wednesday afternoon that he and his crew were waiting on the go-ahead from the power company to get the traffic signal reprogrammed and running. As of 6 p.m., power had not been restored to the traffic signal at 40th Street and Wagon Wheel Road.
The strong storms also kept the Springdale fire department busy responding to calls.
“On top of our regular medical calls, there were several automatic alarms with power lines being down,” Captain Pianalto said, “Our central dispatch actually lost power, so they were on backup power, so a lot went on in 15 to 20 minutes.”
Of the 12,000 without power in Washington County, 2,000 were Ozark Electric customers, and 10,000 were SWEPCO customers.