Insights > Hurricane Laura Preparations Update
Hurricane Laura Preparations Update
As Hurricane Laura’s landfall is hours away, the forecast remains for the storm to strike near the Texas/Louisiana border late tonight or early tomorrow as a destructive high-end Category 4 hurricane. Laura could have maximum sustained winds of 155 mph at landfall, just shy of a Category 5. It would be the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in southwest Louisiana.
Based on Hurricane Laura’s current forecast, customers may see extended power outages. Given the intensity of this storm and the additional need for our crews to follow COVID-19 precautionary measures, hardest hit areas may experience outages for weeks. In addition, restoration may be hampered by flooding, blocked access or other obstacles.
We are preparing for extensive damage in Cameron Parish due to expected sustained hurricane-force winds. Safety of our employees remains our core value and will be paramount in our response.
- We are evacuating personnel from the area later today. They will be staged nearby in Lafayette and Baton Rouge. We plan to return them as early as possible on Thursday to begin restoration when it is safe to do so.
- A small group of core team employees will remain in the area until later tonight to work as long as it is safe to do so.
- We are staging external resources in the Lafayette and Baton Rouge areas to be ready to restore service as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Once our workers are back in the affected areas, we can begin restoring service to customers by closing circuit breakers, rerouting power and other means. But we must wait until sustained winds are less than 30 mph to use our bucket trucks.
- As we learn more about the damage, we put in place a restoration plan that helps us restore the greatest number customers safely in the shortest amount of time.
We urge customers to remain safe and stay away from downed power lines and flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris, since energized and dangerous power lines may not be visible.
Our crews, contractors and mutual-assistance partners are prepared to work long hours after the storm passes, restoring service to customers as safely and as quickly as possible. We continue acquiring more resources to restore service, including adding more transmission restoration workers in anticipation of damage to our high-voltage systems.
We are in contact with other utilities and contract workers to pre-position as many out-of-state utility crews as possible to quickly move in to help restore service. We have 9,834 restoration workers currently ready to restore service for customers whose power may be affected by Laura. These resources include company employees, contractors and mutual aid resources numbering 322 in Mississippi, 5,690 in Louisiana and 3,765 in Texas. These can be relocated as needed to restore service to affected customers. Restoration workers are coming from 20 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Make your last-minute preparations. If you shelter in place, there is a little more time for you to finalize preparations:
- Follow instructions from emergency management officials regarding evacuations or other actions you may need to take.
- Make sure you have basic emergency and first aid supplies. Find out more on the Entergy Storm Center website.
- Set your freezer at its coldest setting.
- Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer if your power goes out.
- Customers choosing to use portable electric generators should do so in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Customers must never connect a generator directly to a building’s wiring without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from Entergy’s service. Otherwise, it can create a safety hazard for the customer or our linemen working to restore power. And it may damage the generator or the house wiring.
If you evacuate, designate one or more out-of-town contacts whom you may be able to reach more easily during or after the storm. Before leaving, prepare your home by turning off your electricity at the main fuse or breaker and your water at the main valve. Also check for and secure objects that could cause damage if blown by high winds.
We continuously keep our communities informed throughout a storm using the following channels:
- Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
- Sign up for text alerts or text REG to 36778. Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest.
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center website and our View Outages page.
- Follow us on Twitter.com/entergy or Facebook.com/entergy.
- Call us at 800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media, like radio, television and newspapers.