PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Weather

January 27, 2014

Entergy prepares for winter blast; outages

— Entergy contacts

www.entergy.com to link to Operation: Storm Ready or to view outages

1-800-9outage, 1-800-968-8243, Call to report downed or dangling powerlines

Less than a week after 3,500 Entergy customers lost power because of a winter ice storm that barreled into Southeast Texas, the electrical utility’s workers are preparing for another arctic onslaught.

This one has the Interstate 10 corridor in its sights from The Lakes area all the way to the Gulf Coast, and into parts of Louisiana.

“We have been preparing, watching what is coming, and staying in touch with government officials,” Debi Derrick, Entergy spokesperson, said.

Last week when the area was blanketed by a thick layer of ice, prompting officials to close numerous roads because of the unsafe driving conditions, utility workers could not get to about a half dozen customers who had lost power, Derrick said.

Those customers, residing on Pleasure Island and the Bolivar Peninsula area, were delayed in having their power restored because of the closed roads.

“We had to use one of our employee’s boats to get to there and restore the power by hand,” Derrick said.

Looking to this week’s storm, Entergy officials are working with city and county officials to plan how to reach customers residing in places where the roads are closed.

“If our trucks cannot go up a bridge because of weight, we have to have another means,” Derrick said. “We are working with local officials so everyone can get on the same page to recognize our needs to get where we need to go so power can be restored.”

National Weather Service meteorologists predict this week’s storm could be worse that last week’s.

In preparation, Entergy is reminding customers to utilize caution, and patience.

“We want people to know we will get to them as fast as we can, but we have to restore power safely,” Derrick said.

Last week’s storm, because of the high winds, resulted in what is known as galloping lines — those with horizontal icicles that cause powerlines to lift much like an airplane wing.

Derrick said

During cold weather events, when the demand for electricity is high, the utility has to bring customers back on one section at a time to avoid damaging the system.

“If power were restored all at once, it would create an instantaneous power demand that could be higher than the built in protective devices,” she said.

Individuals should stay away from downed or dangling power lines, or from any fences or objects that may have become energized from coming in contact with the powerline.

To report a downed or dangling powerline call 1-800-968-8243.

Entergy customers can visit the company’s Web site at www.entergy.com for further storm-related information.

Entergy serves more than 420,000 customers in all or parts of 27 Texas counties.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews

 

 

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