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Charlotte J. Cavell
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Entergy Urges Parade-Goers to Stay Safe Around Power Lines

New Orleans, LA–02/10/2015

NEW ORLEANS – “Throw me something, mister!” Almost anyone who has gone to a Mardi Gras parade has uttered that popular Carnival phrase and felt the thrill of catching beads. And as you survey the area around you for beads you might have missed, you can’t help but notice beads casually hanging on power lines.

But while you might be tempted to reach up and try to get the best looking ones, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. and Entergy Louisiana, LLC want to remind you about the importance of keeping your distance from power lines… and anything touching them.

Overhead power lines can carry thousands of volts of electricity. The electricity wants to take the easiest path to the ground and will look for shortcuts wherever it can. Touching a power line with any part of your body, grabbing beads hanging from a power line or touching a power line with an object like a ladder or a net at the end of a pole can provide an instant path for electricity. If that happens, you can be seriously hurt or even killed.

Safety is Entergy’s top priority. Each year, Entergy crews ride the parade routes in advance of the Carnival season to correct any potential clearance issues so that floats don’t come into contact with power lines. Entergy also has trucks ride in front of parades as an additional precaution.

“While Mardi Gras is a time for celebration and enjoyment, we at Entergy want to remind locals and visitors alike that safety should be your No. 1 priority,” said Melonie Stewart, director of customer service. “When you are out on the parade route and see beads hanging from power lines, it is best to just leave them alone.”

Other safety tips to remember during Mardi Gras include:

  • Float riders are encouraged to avoid throwing beads on power lines.
  • Don’t climb utility poles looking for a better view.
  • If you use long-handled nets to try to catch throws, be careful that you avoid reaching the net into overhead power lines.
  • Also be careful when climbing ladders on the parade route.

Even the smallest amount of electricity can cause injury or death. The amount of electricity used by a 7.5-watt bulb (like the ones used in outdoor holiday lighting) can be fatal if it passes through your chest. Even if the shock doesn’t kill you, the electrical current can cause burns, cuts or internal bleeding.

“So while having fun and catching as many beads as you can possibly carry, please remember that nothing is worth the hazards of contacting a power line,” Stewart said. “Keeping safety as your first priority and recognizing hazards can help everyone have a safe and happy Carnival season.”

Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 169,000 customers and natural gas to more than 100,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.

Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. provide electric service to more than one million Louisiana customers. Additionally, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana provides natural gas service to approximately 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and approximately 13,000 employees.

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