Insights > Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 9/16/20 @ 10 a.m.
Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 9/16/20 @ 10 a.m.
Crews are making significant progress in southwest Louisiana, crossing the 40,000 outage threshold yesterday. Crews expect to make power available to most customers affected by Hurricane Laura by Sept. 23. They expect to restore power to the remaining customers who can safely receive it by Sept. 30.
As of 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16, 37,565 outages were occurring in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes in Louisiana, down from a peak of approximately 93,000 outages in Southwest Louisiana. Over the course of the storm and restoration, the company has restored 411,532 individual outages in Louisiana as of 7 a.m. Sept. 16.
Entergy’s Hurricane Laura information website provides customers with storm restoration and recovery updates. Visit the site at entergy.com/hurricanelaura.
Faced with an extended restoration timeline, Entergy’s storm team developed a creative solution to accelerate the restoration of power to portions of north Lake Charles by the end of this weekend.
Continued progress in Calcasieu Parish opened the door for this opportunity as transmission and distribution groups energized additional substations in Lake Charles. Building upon these accomplishments, the storm team began rebuilding distribution lines to bring power in from the south.
This, coupled with the installation of special equipment, will create a path for transporting electricity into the area.
After assessing the damages, crews learned that many of the transmission structures in this area had to be replaced. Repairs to the transmission system are made more difficult because a large portion of the infrastructure is in wooded and marshy areas just west of the Calcasieu River. The work includes navigating cranes and other specialized equipment on pontoon boats.
Restoration for customers in southwest Louisiana is a methodical process. While crews are working in all areas, those with the least amount of damage will be restored sooner. Some customers without power may notice that the electric system in their immediate area has been repaired or appears to be in good condition.
Those customers could still be without power because electric equipment is damaged in portions of the system that they cannot see, sometimes miles away. Entergy Louisiana is committed to repairing and rebuilding the electric system until every customer who was impacted by the storm has power available to them. As work progresses, we will update restoration timeframes with increasingly accurate estimates.
To learn more about the steps you should take if your home’s exterior electric equipment was damaged, click here. And to learn more about electrical equipment that serves your home and whether the equipment is yours or Entergy’s, click here.
As a result of extensive damage to the transmission infrastructure serving this area, the transmission and distribution systems will require nearly a complete rebuild. The transmission system is the backbone of the electric grid and helps Entergy move power from the power plant to the lines serving customers’ neighborhoods. Power must be restored to transmission lines and substations in order to energize the distribution lines that serve businesses and homes. Without these lines in service, it makes it difficult to move power across the system to customers in the affected areas.
If the grid and the flow of power were compared to our highway system, transmission lines would be the interstates, substations would be the off-ramps and distribution lines would be the streets and roads that lead to homes and businesses.
All transmission lines that deliver power into Southwest Louisiana were catastrophically damaged. The damage caused by Hurricane Laura is some of the most severe the company has experienced.
Transmission lines that received major damage may need to be fully reconstructed in parts. Once the transmission lines are flowing electricity into the city’s substations, then power can flow through the distribution lines to homes and businesses that are able to accept power.
We also will reconfigure our electricity delivery system where feasible to return power to some customers more quickly. Once repairs are completed, we will return the system to normal configuration.
Although the power grid in Southwest Louisiana will lack the redundancies that are in place when the transmission system is in full operation, Entergy Louisiana’s engineering and operations teams are developing a plan to maintain the stability of the system.
Entergy Texas is pledging $360,000 to charitable organizations across the region to help rebuild the communities it serves.
The company allocated $200,000 from an American Red Cross Disaster Responder Partnership to directly aid communities impacted by Hurricane Laura. The support will help victims recover and get back on their feet in the challenging weeks and months ahead
Entergy Texas has pledged another $160,000 to provide grants to community organizations focused on referral assistance and safety net services for impacted individuals and families, including temporary lodging, food, and clothing for affected families. The Foundation for Southeast Texas, a nonprofit, public charity, will distribute the funds to nonprofits in the local community. Decisions about specific grantees will be announced later.
The damage from Hurricane Laura has eliminated much of the redundancy built into the transmission system, which makes it difficult to move power around the region to customers. These conditions, along with increasing demand during periods of higher temperatures, can result in an imbalance of supply and demand for electricity.
While these transmission structures are being repaired, Entergy Texas’ engineering and operations groups are working closely, along with our reliability coordinator Midcontinent Independent System Operator, to ensure the safe and stable operation of the electric grid.
Our crews, contractors and mutual-assistance partners are working long hours restoring service to customers as safely and as quickly as possible. Our restoration workforce includes our own employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews from other companies. As power was restored in parts of the territory, some workers have been released.
Given the intensity of this storm and the additional need for our crews to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures, outage restoration will be extended in the hardest-hit areas and may be hampered by blocked access or other obstacles.
Customers who have a new advanced meter installed can check to see if their power is restored by logging into myEntergy. View “My Usage” on the dashboard. Select “hourly view” to see their most recent usage which is updated every four to five hours.
Customers with property damage may require special action to speed their restoration:
- If your property has water damage, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. A licensed electrician’s inspection of your property’s electric wiring may be needed before Entergy can restore power to a home or business that has water damage from rain or flooding.
For customers without property damage:
- Property owners without hurricane damage should be cautious.
- Look for electrical system damage once power is restored. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or the smell of hot insulation is noticeable, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
Entergy cannot restore power to a location with a damaged meter base, conduit or weather head (the metal pipe extending upward from the structure with electrical cables inside). They must be repaired by a qualified electrician before Entergy can restore
Responding to a major storm and COVID-19 could affect our response:
- Along with standard storm preparations, Entergy employees are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic by taking additional steps. These include traveling separately when possible, adjusting crew staging locations and increasing the use of drones.
- Due to the additional measures crews must take, restoration may take longer, especially where there are widespread outages. Additionally, crews will continue to practice social distancing and we ask that customers do the same. For their safety and yours, please stay away from work zones.
For our industrial customers, restoration priority is to power critical community services such as fire, police, hospitals and water and communication services. As we restore service to residential, commercial and industrial customers, we must do it in a way that balances the needs of our customers with the ability to support additional load as the system permits.
- We know you want information about your outage. Given the intensity of this storm and the additional need for our crews to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures, hardest hit areas may experience outages for weeks. In addition, restoration may be hampered by flooding, blocked access or other obstacles.
- In addition to disruption of normal business operations, customers may experience delays when calling our telephone centers, especially from unaffected areas, due to overloading of the system with outage calls. We encourage customers to use these other means to interact with us during restoration:
- Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
- Sign up for text alerts 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.
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center website and our View Outages.
- Follow us on Twitter.com/entergy or Facebook.com/entergy.
- Call us at 800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media, like radio, television and newspapers.
- Once these storms pass, we can fully assess the damage and will have more information to share.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in attempts to scam our customers following Hurricane Laura.
- Entergy never demands immediate payment from customers over the phone. You shouldn't give your personal information to strangers.
- If a call sounds suspicious, hang-up and call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak directly with an Entergy customer service representative.
- If you believe you are a victim of this scam, notify the proper authorities, such as the local police or the state attorney general's office.
- You should stay safe as we restore service outages caused by Hurricane Laura.
- There is no way to know if a downed line is energized or not, so if you see one, keep your distance and call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Stay safe and away from downed power lines and flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris, since energized and dangerous power lines may not be visible.
- Customers choosing to use portable electric generators should do so in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Customers must never connect a generator directly to a building’s wiring without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from Entergy’s service. Otherwise, it can create a safety hazard for the customer or our linemen working to restore power. And it may damage the generator or the house wiring.
- Restoration workers who discover a generator attached directly to Entergy’s system will work with the customer to disconnect the generator. As a last resort, the restoration worker will disconnect the customer’s service connection to Entergy, which may take an extended time to reconnect due to the extensive restoration effort underway.