Insights > Convoys of Utility Workers Converge on Louisiana, Texas
Convoys of Utility Workers Converge on Louisiana, Texas
Hurricane Laura continues on a path of destruction that should ultimately end on the East Coast, more than 13,000 restoration workers from 27 states are focused on Texas and Louisiana, helping restore light and life to communities devastated by the catastrophic Category 4 storm.
Crews are arriving from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
“Having these large contingents of restoration workers helping, with the correct special equipment needed, gives us a sense of certainty” said Allen East, Entergy Texas vice president of distribution operations. “We can position them in a local area and know they can completely manage restoration.
“For example, we plan to position one group from Mississippi to restore service in Port Arthur, which has rear-lot construction that takes more time, special equipment, effort and resources to restore. The capabilities of these teams mean a safer and quicker restoration.”
Still, customers may see extended power outages from the historic storm. Laura is the strongest storm to hit Louisiana since 1856. Given the intensity of this storm and the need for crews to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures, hardest hit areas may experience outages for weeks. Restoration could also be hampered by flooding, blocked access or other obstacles.
“Our crews, contractors and mutual-assistance partners will work long hours to restore service to customers as safely and as quickly as possible,” said John Hawkins, Entergy Louisiana vice president of distribution operations. “We’re working to get even more crews to restore service, including more transmission restoration workers in anticipation of damage to our high-voltage systems. We’re in contact with other utilities and contract workers to position as many out-of-state utility crews as possible to help restore service.”
Hurricane Laura made landfall at 1 a.m. Thursday at Cameron, La., initially causing more than 280,000 power outages for Entergy’s customers. Outages continue to increase as the storm moves through the company’s service territory in Louisiana and Arkansas. Portions of Entergy’s service area in Mississippi are expected to be affected by the storm’s outer bands, as well.