Insights > Entergy prepares for cold temps, wintry weather

Entergy prepares for cold temps, wintry weather


Even as Entergy employees continue to respond to outages caused by widespread severe thunderstorms, our workers are prepared to respond to another major winter event across our service area.

A line of severe thunderstorms and damaging wind swept across Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi overnight Thursday and into Friday. Our teams continue working to get customers back online as quickly and safely as possible. Not long after power is restored to these customers, yet another disruptive weather event is set to arrive. National Weather Service officials say the next few days will see the likelihood of frozen precipitation and extremely dangerous low temperatures across the four states Entergy serves.

This arctic weather will be a one-two punch for our employees and customers alike: First, the possibility of ice, snow, and/or freezing rain Monday, followed by days of extremely low temperatures. Nearly our entire service area is forecast to receive hard freezes for extended periods early next week, with some lows diving into the teens and single digits.

We’re ready to respond. While the impacts of possible winter weather are very hard to predict, we are geared up to respond to whatever Mother Nature delivers. In addition to our internal workforce, we are prepared to acquire off-site resources to help restore power as needed. We continue refining the number of additional resources based on the latest weather forecasts. 

Be Prepared

We urge our customers, employees and the public to prepare now and work safely. Be sure to report any outages you experience to Entergy. You can find these safety resources and more on our Storm Center. Share with your family and friends to ensure personal emergency plans are set:  

Customers are urged to verify their contact information in their online myEntergy account before severe weather strikes to receive our notifications. If a storm impacts their area, they should report an outage quickly and easily through our digital options – using either our free mobile app, online at, or by texting OUT to 36778. 

 We're storm ready, 365 days a year

When a winter weather threat arises, we ramp up support. Our year-round storm preparations include the vegetation management program and the targeted "ground to sky" vegetation trimming, which removes tree limbs that would normally have been above the power line. We also use artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to help predict when trimming may be needed. And, we've taken measures in advance to ensure we're winter-ready. Read more here about our winter weather preparedness efforts.
Ice is particularly harmful to electrical lines

Heavy snow and ice can bring down power lines. In fact, ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times. In fact, only one-half inch of ice can add 500 pounds of weight on power lines, as well as tree limbs which could then fall onto power lines and people. It's safest to avoid the area near ice-laden power lines and tree limbs. Extreme cold can make materials like wood and metal brittle.

Sometimes, ice can impact transmission lines and cause them to "gallop," which can result in a power outage. This is a slow, "skipping rope" motion of power lines that occurs when rain freezes to the power lines, and then steady winds cause adjacent lines to move and sometimes contact one another.

Restoring power in extreme cold is different

The restoration process is done in an orderly, deliberate manner. As soon as it's safe to work, our crews start turning the lights back on for our customers. Restoration efforts begin as scouts start assessing the storm's damage, and crews start needed repairs at the source and work outward. Certain types of work, such as repairs requiring the use of bucket trucks, cannot be safely completed when winds exceed 30 miles per hour.

When temperatures are extremely cold, we must bring customers back online one section at a time, rather than simply energizing an entire power line all at once. Restoring all customers on the same power line simultaneously can create large, instantaneous power demands. The instant demand is different than day-to-day operations and could be higher than the built-in protective devices on lines were designed to handle. This is done for the safety of our customers, and to avoid damaging our system or making the situation worse.

Customers can help, too

During a winter storm, many customers leave their heating systems and appliances turned on. If your power goes out, when power returns there may be too much energy demand on the grid all at once. This can cause additional problems. Customers without power can help by turning off major appliances. Leave on a lamp or other light to indicate when power is restored, then gradually turn on other appliances to spread out the increase in power usage over a longer period of time.

Jay Vise
Senior Communications Specialist, Utility Communications