Nov 15, 2012 5:13 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. - Crews from Entergy's Louisiana utility operating companies are returning home after almost three weeks spent helping restore utility service to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
"We sent 308 Louisiana workers, including our company employees and contract workers, to the Northeast," said Bill Mohl, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. "They were very successful in helping our sister utilities in their time of need, just like they have done for us following major restorations for our customers."
The Louisiana workers left in two waves in late October, headed for Philadelphia, Pa., where they supported PECO in restoring power to customers in the region. After 10 days of challenging restoration work in Pennsylvania, the Louisiana crews continued on to assist Consolidated Edison with power restoration in multiple communities throughout New York's Westchester County, as well as within New York City and New Jersey.
"Our workers remained in high spirits while away, while facing challenges including snow and a Nor'easter, traffic jams and working with unfamiliar equipment," said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of Entergy's Louisiana transmission and distribution operations. "They take great pride in dedicating themselves to safely restoring power as quickly as possible so customers can back to their lives."
"We're proud of their hard work despite difficult conditions," Mohl said, "and the customers that Entergy's workers served also greatly appreciated their efforts and sacrifices to restore the power more than one thousand miles from home."
The Louisiana scout teams returned to Louisiana the evening of Monday, Nov. 12, and the remainder of the Louisiana crews are expected to be back at their home bases by the evening of Thursday, Nov. 15. An Entergy New Orleans, Inc. team of underground network specialists remained to assist ConEd in Manhattan. These final crews will begin traveling home on Friday, Nov. 16, and expect to be back at their home bases within three days of their departure.
Entergy's total of 875 emergency workers from its utilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas joined an army of 67,000 from more than 80 utility companies from as far away as Canada, California and Hawaii to provide assistance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The storm disrupted power to 9.6 million utility customers.
"Sandy proved to be a devastating storm, and we were glad to do our part to help restore normalcy to a lot of people," Dawsey said. "As one Entergy worker said, ‘We are a village that will do whatever it takes to get your lights on - because they're going to be coming to help us one day.'"
Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. serve more than one million customers across Louisiana. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are part of Entergy Corporation's electric system serving 2.8 million customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.