Insights > Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 8/29/20 @ 4:30 p.m.

Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 8/29/20 @ 4:30 p.m.

08/29/2020

Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles, LA
Lake Charles, LA

Damage assessment continues for our customers who lost power due to Hurricane Laura. Significant restoration progress has been made outside of the hardest-hit areas.

Our restoration workers have restored power for more than half of the electrical power outages caused by Hurricane Laura. Our workforce will continue its safe, quick work until everyone’s power is restored.

Outage and restoration information at 4:30 p.m. include:

 

Current Outages

Peak Outages

Restored

% Restored

Arkansas

12,574

 47,500

 34,926

74%

Louisiana

195,146

 270,900

 75,754

28%

Mississippi

906

 6,300

 5,394

86%

Texas

74,597

 291,300

 216,703

74%

System

283,223

 616,000

 332,777

54%

Entergy’s transmission system has suffered extensive damage, including 221 transmission lines and 280 substations affected by the storm Both wooden and steel structures are damaged. Key transmission lines are out of service that will affect service restoration until they return.

Distribution system damage includes 3,848 poles, 1,889 transformers and 6,285 spans of wire.

Arkansas Update

In Arkansas, most customers should be restored by tonight. Most customers who can take power should be restored by late Sunday in hard-hit El Dorado, Magnolia and Warren.

Louisiana Update

In Louisiana, damage assessments are about half done. The remaining assessments will be more difficult due to extensive damage, especially in the hard-hit Lake Charles area.

Lafayette-area customers should be restored by late today, with the Jennings area restored by late tomorrow. Restoration workers in these two areas will relocate to boost the number of restoration workers in Lake Charles.

We use peak outages to measure our restoration progress. But severe weather like Hurricane Laura may cause customers to experience more than a single interruption. In some cases, power could be restored and lost in the same area multiple times resulting in a much higher number of outage restorations. This is especially true for Entergy Louisiana’s Laura restoration, where 239,264 individual outages had been restored as of 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28.

Mississippi Update

In Mississippi, all customers who can take power should be restored by late today.

Texas Update

Beaumont, Port Arthur and Silsbee surrounding areas are expected to be restored by Sunday, August 30, Groves by Monday, August 31 and the Orange area is estimated by Friday, September 4. However, given the extent of damage, these times may change as our crews assess the damage and make progress restoring customers.

Transmission

The damage from Hurricane Laura’s historic intensity caused catastrophic damage to the Entergy system across Louisiana and Texas. The eye wall, which brings the most damaging winds and intense rainfall, passed directly over Lake Charles, Louisiana, causing wide-spread damage to that area and our system.

Power must be restored to transmission lines and substations in order to energize the distribution lines that serve businesses and homes. We must patrol and inspect each component of the high voltage facilities before they can be re-energized.

The transmission system is the backbone of the electric grid and helps Entergy move power from the power plant to the lines serving customers’ neighborhoods. These large lines are like the interstate system. Without these lines in service, it makes it difficult to move power across the system to customers in the affected areas.

Preliminary damage assessments indicate catastrophic damage to our electrical infrastructure. We expect the recovery to be as difficult and challenging as we have ever faced in the past. Customers should expect extended power outages lasting weeks.

Based on current assessment reports, damage to Entergy’s transmission system post Laura has already surpassed that of Hurricane Gustav that hit southeast Louisiana in 2008.

There are seven transmission line corridors feeding into the Lake Charles area, five of which belong to Entergy. All seven have been catastrophically damaged, and while not all assessments have been completed, it is some of the most severe damage the company has experienced. So far, we have identified more than 220 structures requiring replacement or repair.

The structure that supports a 500-kV line weighs roughly 40,000 pounds. One 18-wheeler can transport about 50-100 distribution poles, but just one of these towers requires three trucks for transport.

To date, we’ve identified severe damage in Louisiana that amasses close to 144 transmission lines and 180 substations during our initial assessment. In Texas, damage identified to date includes close to 57 transmission lines and 53 substations.

As more complete damage information is collected, we will continue to develop our plans to stabilize the backbone of our transmission system and build paths from available generation to begin restoring customers.

Our first and most critical priority is to get the first transmission source into Lake Charles re-energized to begin the process of starting available generation units in the area. We have several options that we are currently evaluating based on feasibility and time to execute.

For customers to begin receiving power in the Lake Charles area, the transmission lines must first be repaired. Those that received major damage may need to be reconstructed in part. Once the transmission lines are flowing electricity into the city, into the substations then through the distribution lines, homes and businesses will be able to except power.

We are working in parallel to repair the extensive damage to the distribution poles and lines in the Lake Charles area. Distribution system damage in Louisiana includes 3,227 poles, 1,229 transformers and 5,532 spans of wire. Distribution system damage in Texas includes 368 poles, 588 transformers and 76 spans of wire.

Resources


Our crews, contractors and mutual-assistance partners are prepared to work long hours restoring service to customers as safely and as quickly as possible.

We have assembled a restoration force of more than 22,800 workers including our own employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews from other companies. This workforce is the largest restoration effort we have ever mobilized. Our logistics team is working to secure thousands of beds in hotel rooms and mobile sleeping units to the affected areas to house the restoration workers coming to help restore service for our customers.

Restoration workers from 29 states are restoring service for our customers. Donor states include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Customer Information

Some 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.

Customers who have a new advanced meter installed can check to see if their power is restored by logging into myEntergy. View ‘My Usage” on the dashboard. Select “hourly view” to see their most recent usage which is updated every four to five hours. 

Customers with property damage may require special action to speed their restoration:

  • If your property has any water damage, please turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
  • Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. A licensed electrician may need to inspect your property’s electric wiring before Entergy can restore power to a home or business which has water damage from rain or flood waters.

For customers without property damage:

  • Property owners without hurricane damage should be cautious.
  • Look for electrical system damage once power is restored. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or the smell of hot insulation is noticeable, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
  • Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.

Entergy cannot restore power to a location with a damaged meter base, conduit or weather head (the metal pipe extending upward from the structure with electrical cables inside). They must be repaired by a qualified electrician before Entergy can restore power.

Due to the volume of outages and post-storm assessment status, the red/green lines on our outage maps may show discrepancies. When this happens, we switch to an “area view” and provide detailed restoration updates in the alert banner at the top of the map, updated twice daily.

Here’s how we approach things at this stage to restore your power safely and quickly when conditions are safe:

  • Repairs begin with major lines to the substations, then to the lines and equipment serving neighborhoods, businesses and homes.
  • Service lines to individual homes and businesses will be restored last because fewer customers are involved, and in the case of fewer outages spread over larger areas, it often takes more time to get power back on for them.
  • Significant flooding and other accessibility challenges due to the storm will affect our ability to reach some areas of our territory and could delay restoration in those communities.
  • When restoration starts, keep in mind that if you don’t see us working near you, we may be working on another part of the electrical system that you can’t see but must be repaired to get power to you.

Responding to a major storm and COVID-19 could affect our response:

  • Along with standard storm preparations, Entergy employees are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic by taking additional steps. These include traveling separately when possible, adjusting crew staging locations and increasing the use of drones.
  • 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.

Stay Informed

  • We know you want information about your outage. 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.
  • In addition to disruption of normal business operations, customers may experience delays when calling our telephone centers, especially from unaffected areas, due to overloading of the system with outage calls. We encourage customers to use these other means to interact with us during restoration:
    • Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
    • Sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). 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.
    • 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.
    • Once these storms pass, we can fully assess the damage and will have more information to share.

Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in attempts to scam our customers following Hurricane Laura.

  • Entergy never demands 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.

Customer Safety

  • You should stay safe as we restore service outages caused by Hurricane Laura.
  • There is no way to know if a downed line is energized or not, so if you see one, keep your distance and call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
  • Stay safe and 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.
  • 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.
  • Restoration workers who discover a generator attached directly to Entergy’s system will work with the customer to disconnect the generator. As a last resort, the restoration worker will disconnect the customer’s service connection to Entergy, which may take an extended time to reconnect due to the extensive restoration effort underway.

Storm restoration photos and videos

 

 


Corporate Editorial Team