Tag Archives: Northwest Arkansas

NWA ice storm 2009, again

The temperature in my home is 44 degrees. I’m seeing 46 as the forecasted high, but I’m also seeing 34 as that apex (from more reliable sources, unfortunately). I’m really hoping for that 46-degree mark, since that would warm up my cold house significantly more than a outside temperature still colder than the internal temperature.

KC Power and Light is sending crews to somewhere in Arkansas (more than 100 people) to help.

I’m hearing radio reports that emergency shelters in Fayetteville and Springdale are full (but they’re still serving hot meals).

SWEPCO (AEP) is saying: “The current estimated time for 95% restoration is midnight Saturday. Restoration will proceed as conditions allow.” Carroll Electric states it’s still assessing the damage. (Neither of these power companies serve Siloam Springs, which has its own electric department / company.)

It’s still difficult to find information of any kind. One area newspaper company’s website is still down. I’ve heard via Facebook that NPR is back up, which is good news. Strike that, our local NPR station‘s signal is still down in Siloam — both via the air waves and via the internet.

Along with the above earnest prayer for warm temperatures and a return of power, I’m also (still) praying for the utility workers and other area residents, and a continued lack of wind.

My previous posts about the storm and its aftermath: The first one, the main one and a quick update with projected outage time.

Edited (see above) to correct something I misunderstood.

Ice storm 2009 update

Just heard, via newspaper contacts (Thanks!), that if you (I) don’t have power now, and you live in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, the projection for the return of electricity is 24-48 hours.

I feel better just knowing (Knowledge is power, and all that.). Now we need to decide what to do.

Stay warm!

NWA newspaper (ice storm) news

At the top of one local daily newspaper’s website this morning: “Note from the Publisher: The Morning News was without electricity Tuesday and was unable to publish a print edition. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will publish the Wednesday and Thursday editions on Wednesday and deliver them together on Thursday. Our web edition is up to date.”

This, it should go without saying, doesn’t help people without power and internet.

I know the other (competing) newspaper company (which I used to work for) had to drive to one specific plant to print all the various newspapers and editions, but they did publish print editions today. It looks, however, like that company’s website is down today.

At our house in central Siloam Springs, we’ve been without power for 15 21 hours and counting. The temperature inside has been as low as 48 degrees. We’re hearing reports (online — accessed at someone else’s house, who has power and DSL (the cable internet is out for perhaps all of town?) and via the radio station that’s still transmitting) from power companies in the surrounding area (such as SWEPCO and Carroll Electric), but we can’t find out anything from the local electric department.

Apparently Siloam Springs Electric Department is telling local media outlets they’re too busy to talk (I’ve heard this from multiple sources).

Editorializing: This is not a good policy.

The Siloam newspaper this morning quotes City Administrator David Cameron as saying: “Electric crews were staying on top of restoring power; however, [they] have moved into the ‘damage control’ phase of the storm. This consists of clearing streets from downed power lines, atop houses, etc.”

The article continues: “Other city crews are working to keep the streets clear of trees and ice.”

I have no doubt that city crews are working hard, and I know they’re competent.

Siloam Springs Electric Department has requested help from other crews. They’re not alone; one of the other local power companies (I can’t remember which one, but probably all are in a similar situation) requested help from I think 40 other places.

Siloam has two emergency shelters open, at the National Guard Armory on Main and Lincoln streets (Red Cross), and at Assembly of God church (Genesis House).

This (again from the Herald-Leader) isn’t encouraging: “The armory is being activated for those that will see extended power outages,” Cameron said. (Emphasis added.)

On the television news at 6 p.m. last night (the station was without power for the 5 p.m. broadcast, and we were without power for the 10 p.m. broadcast), a long-time area resident said this was without a doubt the worst ice storm he’d seen. He cited the 2001 ice storm and the much-worse 1978 ice storm, declaring this one much worse again. We remember the spring 2007 storm, which was much milder; it hurt much plant life simply because it transpired so late in the year (March or April?).

The official word from the city of Siloam Springs when we called this afternoon: ‘There is no word. We’re issuing no statement.’

This part goes without saying: Trees are down, power lines are down. Along with prayers for the utility workers and other area residents (and a continuing lack of wind), I’m mourning the loss of so many magnificent trees. I’m trying to imagine what the town landscape will look like once all the trees are taken care of.

I’d add photos, but that would take more time, and this was ready to post at 10:30 this morning, until my location at the time lost power and internet. I’m tired.

Iced tree

In front of the house two doors down from mine:

ice-tree

It’s been sleeting/raining/icing/freezing-raining for about 24 hours now, and the forecast holds more of the same (with some chance of snow thrown in on top) through the night. Across town, friends’ power has been out, and back up. We’re still waiting for ours to more than flicker. Walking outside, you hear the ice creaking and the near-constant limb-breakage. The ice on the grass is nearly thick enough it doesn’t crunch when you walk on it. Arkansas, along with neighboring Oklahoma and Missouri, has declared a state of emergency.

Yesterday, it was forecasted that the entire region would be without power. At the time, I was somewhat incredulous. Now, just waiting. And rather than pondering whether we’ll lose power, we’re starting to ponder a hole in the roof. Our local electric department does have a good track record, though, something I’m thankful for.

Election day info

I wrote recently linking to the Benton County, Arkansas website and its sample ballots for today. I was offering information so people could be prepared as they walked into polling booths today.

I’ve just learned, however, that the source I leaned on, the source I depended on, the official source, got it wrong. They’ve got two links to sample ballots, alright, but they’re identical. They, thus, lack a link to the second page of the ballot. Which contains a mixture of local and state ballot issues.

Including (but not limited to):
• State lottery
• Adoption/foster parent rules

Some information on these two.

I would link for you to the website of the local newspaper, which carried all the requisite sample ballots in its print edition, but much of its content remains unavailable online, including this.

Update: The county newspaper’s got them online (which, incidently, you can’t get delivered in this corner of the county).

Sample ballots

Go to my most recent post for the most updated voter information, please!

I’ve have a several people finding my blog recently who’ve been searching for voter information for Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I’ve been looking for sample ballots online myself, and when I couldn’t find them anywhere, I finally emailed the County Clerk for Benton County this morning, and now? Lo and behold, the links to sample ballots at the county’s website now go to actual information for this November 4 election.

This page lists precincts and polling sites, with sample ballots for each being small links in between. Be aware, most precincts have more than one ballot, so look at all of them for your precinct.

For instance, here are the two sample ballots for my precinct, 08.

Whether you live in Siloam Springs or not, I urge you to do your civic duty: Vote.

ETA: The sample ballots don’t look exactly right — a few things are on both of my ballots — but they are from an official source, and they don’t conflict with each other.

Regional books: Midwest

This from Shelf Awareness:

The winners of the 2008 Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Awards, which honor authors from the Midwest Booksellers Association region and books about the region:

Winners
• Fiction: Loving Frank: A Novel by Nancy Horan (Ballantine)
• Nonfiction: Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish (Bantam)
• Poetry: Valentines: Poems by Ted Kooser, illustrated by Robert Hanna (University of Nebraska Press)
• Children’s Picture Book: Agate: What Good Is a Moose? by Joe Morgan Dey and Nikki Johnson (Lake Superior Port Cities)
• Children’s Literature: Little Klein by Anne Ylvisaker (Candlewick Press)

Honor Books
• Fiction (tie): So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger (Atlantic Monthly Press) and Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen (Penguin)
• Nonfiction: The Florist’s Daughter: A Memoir by Patricia Hampl (Harcourt)
• Poetry: Willow Room, Green Door: New and Selected Poems by Deborah Keenan (Milkweed Editions)
• Children’s Picture Book: Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ilbatoulline (Candlewick Press)
• Children’s Literature: The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson (Greenwillow Books)

The Midwest Booksellers’ Choice Awards will be presented September 25 during the MBA annual trade show in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This is interesting to me for several reasons: Most regional fiction I’ve heard about is Southern literature. I grew up in the Midwest, but I didn’t even know there were so many books written in and/or about that lesser-known region. Sure, I knew that some authors live there, and there’s perhaps one? famous author of years past (I’m thinking of Willa Cather; can you add to this meager “list”? ) who hailed from the region, but I haven’t heard of nor read many books of this part of the country.

Now — when I live in an area on the cusp of two regions, technically in a Southern state but in an area with several of the characteristics of the Midwest — fiction tied to a region is quite interesting to me.

2 books published

The first two books I proofread are now in print! I haven’t seen the final version of either.

The first book I proofed: Mongoose in the Sand by Ron Godby. This fiction book tells the story of an elite Marine unit’s harrowing mission. It’s written by a U.S. Marines veteran. Also available for the Kindle.

The second book I proofed: The Soul of a Christian University: A Field Guide for Educators, edited by Stephen Beers (Each chapter was written by a different person or persons in Christian higher education.). Amazon is “temporarily out of stock” of this title. This book is a guide to help educators (faculty and staff) new to Christian higher education acclimate to their new environment.

I’ve been waiting and waiting for this day!

I was just handed (yesterday) a good chunk (not all) of my next proofreading project.