Entergy Louisiana is finalizing storm preparations ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Laura, which is now forecast to make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border late tonight or early tomorrow as a destructive and extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane.
Customers should also finalize their storm preparations and follow the guidance of local and state officials. Given the intensity of this storm and the need for crews to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures, customers should prepare for extended power outages. Areas hit hardest by Laura may experience outages for weeks.
“This is a serious weather event and has the potential to cause significant and widespread damage, including to our electrical system,” said John Hawkins, vice president of distribution operations for Entergy in Louisiana. “During these times, the safety of the public and our employees is paramount. We will begin restoring power as soon as it is safe to do so, but customers should be prepared for extended outages and factor that into their personal plans.”
In addition to the company’s local workforce, Entergy Louisiana has requested mutual assistance. Workers from 20 states are coming to assist in restoring power following Laura. Entergy’s storm team for Louisiana has increased to 5,600 and continues to grow based on the storm’s path and intensity.
Entergy has moved equipment and crews from the path of the storm to allow them to quickly begin restoration work as soon as the storm passes. Additionally, crews have added flood protections for equipment in other areas that could see high water. High-water vehicles, drones, helicopters and airboats have also been secured to assist in restoration efforts.
Crews will not move back into the area to begin restoration until it is safe to do so. While some work can be done on the ground, crews cannot begin using bucket trucks until sustained winds are less than 30 mph. As crews learn more about the damage, a plan will be put in place that restores power to the greatest number of customers safely in the shortest amount of time.
Crews will continue to practice social distancing while in the field due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Entergy asks that customers do the same. For the safety of crews and customers, please stay away from work zones. If there is a need to report a service problem, customers should call 1-800-ENTERGY.
Staying informed before, during and after a tropical system strikes is just as important as making personal storm plans. Here’s how customers can stay updated throughout the event:
- Download the Entergy App at entergyapp.com [entergyapp.com]. Customers can use the app to report outages or check on the status of power at their home or business.
- Entergy’s View Outages [entergy.com] website includes maps that show where outages are located and give information about restoration progress.
- Sign up for text alerts [cloud.mail.myentergy.com] by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest [myentergy.com].
- The Entergy Storm Center [entergystormcenter.com] website has storm safety, preparation and restoration information that is updated throughout the day.
- Operation: Storm Ready Guide [entergy.com] is a free downloadable guide that helps customers plan and prepare for weather emergencies.
Social media plays an important role in keeping customers informed, and the company places a high priority on updating its social media channels throughout an event. Customers can follow Entergy Louisiana on Facebook [facebook.com] and Twitter [twitter.com].
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to more than 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. It has operations in southern, central and northern Louisiana. Both companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,600 employees.