LAFAYETTE, La — A number of power outages are being reported across Acadiana.
Update: At 6:30 p.m., SLEMCO said they had been contacted by grid managers who said that generation load is at a critical point. In order to avoid rolling blackouts, SLEMCO is asking that all customers conserve electric use through the night, but particularly through 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
SLEMCO was notified at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday that they were able to discontinue the rolling blackouts. If conditions change, SLEMCO says they will update customers through local and social media.
Initially Slemco said they were instructed by MISO to begin rolling blackouts immediately (Tuesday, February 16). They began rotating temporary power interruptions in 20 minute intervals for SLEMCO customers in western Lafayette Parish and North Vermilion Parish where excessive demand has overloaded the regional power grid.
Slemco is asking that customers conserve electricity on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sub-freezing temperatures throughout the day today and tonight are once again expected to strain the multi-state power grid that supplies SLEMCO customers with electricity. "We are asking customers to do all they can to reduce power consumption for the next 24 hours to help avoid having to initiate rolling blackouts again."
In all-electric homes, the most effective way to conserve significant power is to set heating thermostats no higher than 68 degrees and even lower, if possible. Customers who have electric water heaters can also conserve significant power by turning water heaters off at the breaker for several hours each day.
Update: As of 9:40 a.m. LUS said they were told they could suspend the rolling power outages at this time. They do have a power outage affecting around 250 people in the Greenbriar, Tackaberry, W. Bayou Parkway area, and they currently have crews out there working on it.
If customers are experiencing a power outage or water issue, please call (337) 291-5700 or the automated power outage line at (337) 291-9200..
Here's the Tuesday afternoon update from Entergy:
Entergy’s Louisiana storm crews are continuing to assess damage and restore power where it is safe to do so after a winter storm brought extremely cold temperatures, freezing rain and large amounts of ice accumulations to the state Sunday and throughout Monday.
Entergy’s Louisiana utilities also are monitoring the potential impacts from a second winter storm that is expected to bring wintry precipitation. Freezing rain and ice could affect central and north Louisiana on Wednesday night and into Thursday, which could lead to additional power outages.
“Extremely cold temperatures continue to impact all of Louisiana today leading to increased power demand. We are asking customers to continue to conserve energy,” said John Hawkins, Entergy’s vice president of distribution operations in Louisiana. “Our crews are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Please keep your distance from downed power lines and know that we’re working to provide you with latest information so that you can plan accordingly.”
As of 1 p.m., approximately 62,000 customers in Louisiana were without power, with portions of southwest Louisiana, Greater Baton Rouge and Northshore areas being hardest hit. Approximately 200 customers were without power in Orleans Parish. In southwest Louisiana, Entergy Louisiana initiated power outages for some customers as directed by the company’s reliability coordinator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator. This was done as a last resort to prevent more extensive, prolonged power outages that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid. The directive from MISO has since been lifted and crews have begun the process of restoring power to customers in southwest Louisiana. In other regions of the state, extremely cold temperatures have caused ice to build up and remain on the electric system as well as on trees and limbs. The added weight has knocked down power lines and has caused trees and limbs to fall into electric equipment.
A storm team of approximately 2,300 and growing is inspecting damages to the electric system in Louisiana, reporting their findings and restoring power where safely possible. The latest estimated times of restoration by parish can be found on the Entergy Storm Center [entergynewsroom.com].
Road closures due to icy conditions and other accessibility challenges may affect the ability of crews to reach some areas and could delay restoration in those communities. Also, crews will continue to take extra safety precautions and practice social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could slow restoration as well.
Customers who have lost power can help crews by unplugging electric heating and appliances and turning them back on gradually after power is restored. Taking this step will help avoid damaging the electric system through increased instantaneous demand when power is restored to homes and businesses.
While crews focus first on restoring power to critical infrastructure and bringing the greatest number of customers on at the same time, crews often have to restore customers in phases during extremely cold weather, another step that is taken to avoid damaging the electric system through increased instantaneous demand.
Earlier today, Entergy told us that they have been forced to initiate power outages to customers in Southwest Louisiana
Entergy Louisiana has started power outages for its customers across the southwestern portion of its service territory. The company is taking this action as directed by our reliability coordinator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, as a last resort and in order to prevent a more extensive, prolonged power outage that could severely affect the reliability of the power grid. Additionally, Entergy continues to follow a directive by MISO to reduce load in the southwestern region of its service territory.
We continuously keep our communities informed throughout a storm. Customers are encouraged to download our free app for their smartphone at entergy.com/app and sign up for text alerts. Customers can also stay up to date by visiting the Entergy Storm Center website. Follow us on Twitter [twitter.com] and Facebook [facebook.com] or check for updates with your local news media like radio, television and newspapers.
6:30 p.m. Tuesday POWER CONSERVATION update: As conditions are expected to deteriorate due to a second winter storm, Cleco is asking its customers to voluntarily reduce electricity usage.
"This unusual request is necessary because power demand may potentially exceed available supply due to extremely cold temperatures," said Jennifer Cahill, director of corporate communications. "We are making this public appeal at the request of MISO, our regional reliability coordinator, who has made a similar request to other utilities in its footprint."
Some actions customers can take to conserve energy include:
· Delay laundry, washing dishes, and other non-essential uses of electricity until this appeal for conservation has ended.
· Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
· Don't allow warmed air to escape from the home.
· Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
· Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees or lower if possible.
"If the power supply cannot meet the demand, periodic power outages could be needed to protect the stability of the power grid and prevent widespread lengthy outages," said Cahill. "We appreciate our customers helping conserve and helping us keep the lights on for everyone."
Here's the 4 p.m. Tuesday OUTAGE RESTORATION update: As of 4 p.m., Cleco has restored power to over 10,000 of the 11,110 customers impacted by Winter Storm Uri which impacted much of the company’s service territory beginning Sunday night and into Monday morning.
“Provided we don’t encounter any unexpected system or equipment damage, we expect to restore power to all customers who can accept power by end of day today,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “As we wrap up restoration from this storm, we are preparing for a second storm, Winter Storm Viola.”
In preparation for the possibility of more freezing rain, sleet and snow across the company’s service territory, Cleco has secured nearly 400 contractors in addition to Cleco resources.
“As conditions are expected to deteriorate due to Winter Storm Viola, we are asking customers to avoid unnecessary travel and reserve the roadways for first responders and emergency personnel,” said Lass. “If traveling is necessary, please yield to first responder vehicles and allow them the right-of-way. Creating unnecessary traffic may delay first responders from reaching their destination to perform work in a timely manner.”
Winter Storm Uri Power Outages as of 4 p.m.
DeSoto – Less than 5 customers
Iberia – 64 customers
Rapides – 139 customers
St. Mary – 58 customers
St. Tammany – 22 customers
Vernon – 58 customers
Cleco Customer Service Office Closures: The following offices will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 17 due to Winter Storm Uri.
· Bunkie Customer Service Office
· DeRidder Customer Service Office
· Mansfield Customer Service Office
· Pineville Customer Service Office
· Ville Platte Customer Service Office
· Opelousas Customer Service Office
· Eunice Customer Service Office
· Crowley Customer Service Office
· New Iberia Customer Service Office
· Franklin Customer Service Office
For the latest information on Cleco power outage updates and restoration efforts, visit Cleco’s Storm Center page at www.cleco.com or follow the company on Facebook @Cleco Power.
Reasons for power outages during ice and snow:
· Trees can become heavy and brittle due to the accumulation of ice and snow, breaking and falling onto our system.
· Power lines and other equipment can become damaged due to the weight of ice and snow on the system.
· Operate portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas and plug appliances directly into generators with grounded extension cords. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.
Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away.Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911.
Phone lines down:
The St Landry SO phone lines are currently down.
Please call 911 for emergencies only.
Inmate calls cannot be taken at this time.