National Rural Water Association

2915 S. 13th Street

Duncan, OK 73533

580-252-0629   FAX 580-255-4476

Contact:  Chris Wilson,

January 29, 2009
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Arkansas Rural water fighting ice to bring generators to powerless utilities 


LONOKE, Ark. – Jeff Ford, deputy director of the Arkansas Rural Water Association, looks over a map, trying to decide how to get generators to the scores of small water utilities without power in northern Arkansas.
                 “The staff is taking calls right now,” Ford said, Thursday morning. “We’ve got more generators on the way, but the calls keep coming in – we’ve got people out of power everywhere.”
                 ARWA started getting calls Monday after a wave of ices storms blew across the state. Arkansas was one of the hardest hit, leaving thousands of customers without power. Despite promises of federal aid, some areas may be without power until mid-February. Until then, ARWA is trying to provide as many generators as possible.
                 “Louisiana Rural Water has loaned us their generators, and we’re trying to get more in,” Ford explained.
                 ARWA was prepared to deal with some power outages, but they didn’t have enough generators to meet every request.
                 “We were prepared, we got all our generators ready and I called Pat Credeur in Louisiana that day,” Ford said. “It was a good thing, too. Their staff showed up with six generators the next morning, and we had them all out by 11 a.m.”
                 Arkansas Rural Water is trying to coordinate the delivery of as many generators as possible. Utilities with power are loaning their equipment to help meet the need.
                 “We’re getting them as fast as we can and getting them out as fast as we can,” Ford said.

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