Insights > An open letter to our customers

An open letter to our customers


Haley Fisackerly, president and CEO, Entergy Mississippi addresses storm recovery

Over more than a week, Entergy Mississippi and our customers experienced an unprecedented series of severe storms, tornados and unusually high winds that caused the largest outage in our service area since Hurricane Katrina. This event saw scores of fast-moving storm cells with 80+ mph winds cutting a widespread path through our entire service area.  This treacherous weather also came day-after-day, sometimes through the same areas repeatedly. The damage was so extensive that our power grid lost half as many poles, wires and transformers in one week as we lost from all storms in 2020, which was one of our worst storm years in recent history with four hurricanes and two tropical storms.

This created a worst-case scenario for power restoration, and it was a heavy lift. Our crews were forced to restore in an incredibly large area, stop work in mid-restoration as new storms kept re-appearing, and sometimes restore the same lines again after new storms caused new damage. It was almost a week before crews could work in a day with no new storm cells creating new damage. Making matters worse, securing additional crews from neighboring states was initially difficult because those states saw similar extensive damage.

Nevertheless, our 2,300-strong workforce from Mississippi and six other states did incredible work. All told, these heroes restored power to nearly a quarter of a million customers – half of our entire customer base – since June 10. They replaced or repaired over 600 poles and 121 miles of power lines in a matter of days – the distance from Jackson to Grenada! And they did it not in a straight line but winding through neighborhoods and rural areas in 34 of our 45 counties from the Tennessee to the Louisiana borders. I truly wish all our customers could have gotten a firsthand look at the great work our people and our partners did in getting their power on as quickly and safely as possible.

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We know those customers who had their power out for several days were frustrated – and we were, too.  I can assure our customers that when the power goes out NOBODY wants it to come on faster than the men and women of our company. We know how much our customers depend on the electricity we provide, and that’s because we are customers, too. Over the last week Entergy Mississippi employees have been without power themselves or had elderly parents, children, loved ones, friends or neighbors who were without power in the middle of a hot, humid June. That is why we take our responsibility personally and work so hard during these weather events.

Given the level of destruction to our facilities and the weather conditions, Entergy Mississippi’s response was good. However, we always want to work hard to try to make it perfect next time. That is why after every outage we evaluate our work to see where we can improve for customers. We know customers were frustrated by receiving less communication from us than they have become accustomed to, and we will be taking a hard look at the performance of our systems that provide that critical information. While those tools do not restore power, I know firsthand how important they are to customers as they make decisions for their families.

Despite their frustration and discomfort during the outage and restoration process, I was touched by the stories from our crews who told me about customers with no lights or air-conditioning who took the time to thank and encourage them while they worked. On behalf of all the employees of Entergy Mississippi, I want to express our thanks to our customers for their patience during this difficult weather event and challenging restoration.

And, I want customers to know that regardless of the severity of future storms that sweep through our state, the men and women of Entergy Mississippi will always do what it takes to keep powering your lives.

Haley Fisackerly
President and CEO, Entergy Mississippi