BATON ROUGE – Entergy’s Louisiana restoration team is continuing to return power to south Louisiana communities, while assessing damages and restoring electric service where it is safe to do so in central and north Louisiana. Winter storms brought record-low temperatures and damaging freezing rain and ice.
The first of two winter storms to impact the state in less than a week pushed through Sunday night and into Monday, causing approximately 130,000 customer outages with the hardest hit areas being Greater Baton Rouge and the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. We anticipate that the majority of south Louisiana customers who lost power Monday or Tuesday and can safely accept service will be restored by tonight while those who lost power Wednesday may not be restored until tomorrow. Additionally, trees or limbs can give way days after a storm has passed, damaging electric equipment and causing new power outages.
The companies will continue their work in the north and central regions of Louisiana, where a second winter storm brought additional outages. Roadway closures and hazardous driving conditions have significantly delayed the ability of crews to travel, assess damages and begin restoring power in those areas. Conditions may not improve for some time as forecast call for below freezing temperatures into the weekend.
“Our communities have been incredibly resilient during these severe weather events,” said John Hawkins, Entergy’s vice president of distribution operations for Louisiana. “As we continue into day three of restoration work in one region and day one in another, I assure our customers that our team is giving it our all to restore power as quickly, and above all, as safely as possible. We know it’s tough to ask for patience when temperatures are this low, but we have boots on the ground and a storm team of more than 4,000 strong working to bring power back to our communities.”
Customers are reminded that as service is restored, there will be a growing demand for more electricity. Crews will continue using their cold weather restoration processes to manage instantaneous demand. Customers without power should turn off or unplug electric heat systems and appliances and turn them back on gradually after power is restored. This will help avoid damaging the electric system through instantaneous demand.
Customers should also be aware that low-temperatures are forecast for the state through the weekend and electricity will be in high demand. We ask that all who are able to do so to please continue to conserve electricity.