Jonesboro's electrical engineers work overtime to restore power, and expand supply. As temperatures decrease, and the city's population increases.
"Our building permits came in at around 147 million dollars, and that's both residential and multi-family" affirmed Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, "your city is going to be at a hundred thousand [in population] before you know it."
The growth forces CWL (City, Water and Light Jonesboro) engineers to stay ahead of outages, while also keeping water and sewage services running smoothly.
Rapid population increases at Valleyview, Hilltop, and South Jonesboro have significantly increased the demand for power. And have also contributed to some of the power outages that have occurred in the past several weeks. Frigid winter temperatures also create additional struggles for CWL.
CWL's electricity demand on January 2nd marked the highest on record for winter. With an increase that equated to more than one hundred and fifteen thousand light bulbs being turned on at the same time (from 254 to 263 megawatts).
"The operational electrical system has completely changed -- it has become much more complicated," states CWL Special Projects Administrator Kevan Inboden, "it's a much more dynamic, market-driven type system. It impacts operations as well."
CWL has taken on several initiatives to help meet the power demands. These include replacing wooden poles with steel poles, and increasing the width of power lines.
"With Jonesboro's growth, we have to keep on our toes to stay ahead," says Inboden.
A work in progress all year round.