North Little Rock Hit With Daily Power Outages

October 01, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

If businesses and residents in North Little Rock, Arkansas have started thinking they live in a landlocked version of the Bermuda Triangle, you might not blame them.  Within the span of one week, lights flickered in what may have seemed a continuous cycle as a series of power outages hit the area causing, if nothing else, frustration.

It started on Friday, September 21, a flock of birds managed to knock out a switching station causing a major outage.

The following day, a downed line caused another outage that required a jumper to be replaced extending the outage.

On Sunday, another outage was caused by a substation failure.  Local customers generally suggested in social media that an animal was to blame, based on other recent incidents. 

And sure enough, still another outage on Monday was the result of a car crashing into a utility pole.

After two outage-free days, Thursday brought yet another outage as an equipment failure disrupted the downtown area.  A growing number of comments complained about the recurring outages, asking, “How many is that this work week alone? 4? 5?”

The frustration of five outages in a week aside, each incident represents a risk for businesses.  Of course, outages during business hours create loss immediate loss of revenue opportunity, but with relatively short outages, hopefully that loss is minimal. 

However, the risk to business technology doesn’t fluctuate based on the length of outage.  The microcircuits that enable the functionality in servers, switches, routers, and other business systems and infrastructure are susceptible to damage with every power outage, spike, or surge.  That means that with each outage, there are at least two chances for circuits to be damaged and for systems to fail. 

The best chance to ensure power fluctuations don’t damage technology is to install power protection systems designed to regulate power before it hits the hardware components.  They may be an additional expense, but it’s small compared to the potential loss of business if systems are down for days or even weeks in while replacement hardware is being located, installed, and configured.

Edited by Erik Linask