Insights > Entergy System Winter Storm Update - 2/19/21 @ 9:30 a.m.

Entergy System Winter Storm Update - 2/19/21 @ 9:30 a.m.

02/19/2021

Restoration in Louisiana.
Restoration in Louisiana.
Restoration in Louisiana.
Restoration in Louisiana.

Outages caused by the severe winter weather continue across our territory, mostly in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Winter weather conditions hampered restoration yesterday. Travel was extremely difficult delaying workers from reaching damaged equipment to make repairs. Frozen precipitation and wind caused tree limbs to fall and create new outages throughout the day. Refreezing overnight could again hamper travel today until roads thaw.

Although our workers restored service for thousands of customers yesterday, the wintry conditions created new outages throughout the day. The pace of restoration should increase today as the weather improves and temperatures rise.

Despite conditions hampering restoration, crews have successfully restored nearly 70,000 of the over 160,000 outages occurring yesterday at 9 a.m.

At 9 a.m. today, 91,470 customer outages occurred, including:

Louisiana: 31,588
Mississippi: 54,995
Arkansas: 952
Texas: 3,935

As we restore service to customers, demand for power will grow. We will restore service to our customers as safely and quickly as possible. However, we must continue our cold-weather restoration processes to manage instantaneous demand. Customers without power should turn off or unplug electric heat systems and appliances and turn them back on gradually after power is restored.

Our restoration workforce totals over 7,700 helping restore power.

  • We remind customers that ice accumulating on trees and power lines can result in power outages.
  • Road closures due to icy conditions and other accessibility challenges may affect the ability of crews to reach some areas and could delay restoration in those communities.
  • Crews will continue to take extra safety precautions and practice social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could slow restoration as well.

Damage from this storm continues to increase across our territory. At 9 p.m. yesterday, 283 poles, 428 transformers and 2,163 spans of wire were damaged or destroyed.

Power supply availability has improved, but low temperatures across our territory, continue to cause high demand for electricity. Unusually high demand for power is expected to continue through Saturday.

Entergy’s reliability coordinator, MISO, continues monitoring the demand for electrical power with the available supply. MISO ensures reliable, cost-effective electricity delivery across parts of 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province. MISO manages approximately 65,000 miles of high-voltage transmission and 200,000 megawatts of power-generating resources across its footprint.

We ask customers to continue minimizing energy usage as much as possible until the extreme cold weather passes.

  • Keep warm, not hot. Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees. When possible, wear additional layers of clothing.
  • Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use.
  • If you can, take advantage of mother nature. If it’s cold, open blinds, drapes and curtains when the sun is shining to let in warmth.
  • Hold off on doing chores. Delay laundry, washing dishes and other non-essential uses of electricity.
  • Wash clothes with cold water, shower quickly instead of taking a bath, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
  • The high level of instantaneous demand is hampering efforts to restore power in some areas. Customers without power should turn off or unplug electric heat systems and appliances and turn them back on gradually after power is restored.

We continue experiencing a delay in reflecting restoration status on the outage map, causing temporary discrepancies in information presented. We are working to correct the issues and apologize for the inconvenience. If power is restored in your area and/or an outage at your location is not displayed on the map, please contact us to report your outage. To report an outage, call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243), or, if registered, text OUT to 36778.

Restoration Information

  • Our restoration crews are restoring power for our customers where it is safe to do so. Road closures due to icy conditions and other accessibility challenges due to the storm may affect our ability to reach some areas of our territory and could delay restoration in those communities.
  • There can be many factors that cause momentary interruptions in power. During extremely cold weather, the electric load increases significantly in comparison to “normal" cold weather conditions. Colder temperatures during the early morning and late-night hours can prompt many customers to heat their homes around the same time. This can sometimes cause voltage variations, causing power to go off and on repeatedly. Report such incidents to entergy.com or 1-800-9-OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
  • 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.
  • These are extreme conditions creating high demand for electricity. It takes more electricity to heat your home. When using an air conditioner to cool, excess heat is taken from inside your home and moved outside. Heating your home requires a machine inside to make heat and then move it.

Cold Weather Restoration

We use a methodical and calculated process in bringing customers back online after an outage in very cold weather, regardless of whether the initial cause of the outage was specifically weather-related.

  • Rather than simply energizing an entire power line all at once, we must bring customers back online one section at a time to avoid damage to our system and make the situation worse.
  • During cold temperature extremes, customers tend to use a lot of electricity to keep heating or other devices running. Electric heaters often will run continuously, creating a constant power demand.
  • When power is disrupted during winter, many customers leave their heating systems and appliances turned on, creating too much energy demand all at once when we try to restore power.
  • Restoring all customers on the same power line has the potential to create large, instantaneous power demands. The instant demand could be higher than the built-in protective devices on a line can handle.
  • We have devices that protect our system during times of normal, day-to-day operations and power demand. During weather extremes, we must change our processes to protect our system and restore power in a way that best ensures safety and reliability for our customers.
  • During extreme cold weather conditions, these specific restoration challenges are experienced not just by Entergy, but throughout the industry and the country.
  • Customers without power can help in the restoration process by turning off major appliances but leaving on a lamp or other light to indicate when power is restored. Then, gradually turn other appliances to spread out the increase in power usage over a longer time.

Our restoration focus includes ensuring the safety of our workers.

  • Workers restore service where it is safe to do so.
  • We restore service to customers by closing circuit breakers, rerouting power and other means.
  • As we learn more about the damage, we put in place a restoration plan that helps us restore the greatest number of customers safely in the shortest amount of time.

Here is what our customers can expect from us in responding to this storm:

  • We have assembled and organized the workforce we need to restore service safely and quickly to all customers.
  • We will keep you informed about our restoration progress.

If you lose power:

  • Stay away from downed power lines. You can’t tell from looking at them whether they are energized or not, so assume they are. Report them to 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
  • Report your power outage online or call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243). If you report your outage by phone, trust the automated system. It works very well. There is no need to speak with a customer service representative to report an outage.
  • If you have a portable generator, use it safely. DO NOT run it in an enclosed space. If connecting to the whole house, do so only if the connection has been installed by a licensed electrician.
  • Do not open your refrigerator or freezer door. Food will stay cold much longer this way. If outside temperature is below freezing, consider placing food in an ice chest outside.
  • Stay clear of linemen as they work.

To stay up to date on outages and restoration:

  • Download the Entergy app for Apple or Android operating systems at Entergy.com/app.
  • Register for address-specific alerts by texting REG to 36778. Customers will need an account number and ZIP code. Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage.
  • Visit “View Outages.”
  • Follow us at https://twitter.com/entergy or https://www.facebook.com/entergy.
  • Follow updates in local news media, including radio, television and newspapers.
  • For tips on battling winter’s chill, while still keeping a lid on energy bills, go to Entergy’s Storm Center and view our Operation: Storm Ready Guide.

As we respond to these winter storms, we want to be sure you are prepared.

  • Above all, stay safe. A personal plan for you and your family is the best way to stay safe and be storm ready.
  • Visit the Entergy Storm Center website for planning tools that can help guide you through the decisions you need to make.
  • As we focus resources on storm restoration, routine tasks, such as installation of new service, are likely to be delayed.

Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in attempts to scam our customers during these winter storms.

  • Entergy customer service representatives never demand 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.

Click here for more storm photos


Corporate Editorial Team