News Release from Entergy-Hurricane Laura Update--Stay Alert!
While we were extremely fortunate that we did not have any major impacts from Hurricane Laura that affected our local area, I would like to take a little time once or twice a week to share updates with everyone from our Entergy team working in the southwest and northern portions of our state as we continue our tremendous ongoing restoration efforts which will be weeks long in some of the hardest hit areas. I believe that these updates will help us better plan and keep everyone united on expectations for not if
, but when the next hurricane affects our area in the future. Please utilize these updates as reference for key takeaways, best practices, and lessons learned that we can incorporate into the planning for our local region.
Hurricane Laura High Level Restoration Update:
Entergy initiated its Mutual Aid Assistance processes and along with our internal workers, we have assembled a team of over 13,000 workers with utility crews from 29 different states. As of 10:00pm on Monday, August 31st
, there were approximately 138,300 customers that remained without power that are largely located in the southwest and northern parts of the state. We typically use peak outage, which measures a moment in time, to indicate our restoration progress. However, it is important to note that over the course of the storm and our restoration, we have restored 318,727 individual outages in Louisiana.
Damage assessments are 99% complete statewide. The last remaining areas to be patrolled in order to gather an inventory of damages are located in the hardest hit areas of Lake Charles. So far, our storm team has identified 8,192 broken poles, 3,359 damaged transformers, and 15,593 spans of downed wire (this equates to roughly 443 miles of downed wire). Our transmission facilities also suffered catastrophic damages. Power must be restored to transmission lines and substations in order to energize the distribution lines that serve businesses and homes.
At this time, we expect that the majority of customers who can safely receive power outside of the Lake Charles/Sulphur area should be restored by Thursday, September 3rd
. Ongoing restoration efforts in the hardest hit areas of Lake Charles will include extremely challenging tasks of clearing extensive debris, assessing damages, replacing numerous poles and other associated equipment along with restringing many miles of wire. The restoration process in the hardest hit areas of Lake Charles will be a weeks-long progression.
Some additional challenges that we continue to experience are highlighted below:
- Public Congestion: Extensive debris, access issues, and crowded streets continue to pose a challenge for our crews. Social distancing should also be recognized and utilized for the safety of both our crews and our customers as COVID-19 remains a factor. .
- Downed Lines: Customers should stay safe by staying away from downed power lines. There is no way to know if a downed line is energized or not, so if you see one, keep your distance and call 1-800-9OUTAGE (800-968-8243).
- Generator Safety: Unfortunately, many people have died due to various customer generator issues in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Customers choosing to use portable electric generators should do so in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Customers must never connect a generator directly to a building’s wiring without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from Entergy’s service. Otherwise, it can create a safety hazard for the customer or our linemen working to restore power. And it may damage the generator or the house wiring. Restoration workers who discover a generator attached directly to Entergy’s system will work with the customer to disconnect the generator. As a last resort, the restoration worker will disconnect the customer’s service connection to Entergy, which may take an extended time to reconnect due to the extensive restoration effort underway.
- Customers with Property Damage: Customers with property damage may require special action to speed their restoration:
- If your property has any water damage, please turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. A licensed electrician may need to inspect your property’s electric wiring before Entergy can restore power to a home or business which has water damage from rain or flood waters.
- Entergy cannot restore power to a location with a damaged meter base, conduit or weather head (the metal pipe extending upward from the structure with electrical cables inside). They must be repaired by a qualified electrician before Entergy can restore power.