Insights > Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 8/30/20 @ 5:30 p.m.

Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 8/30/20 @ 5:30 p.m.

08/30/2020

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

Significant restoration progress continues for customers who lost electrical power due to Hurricane Laura.

This morning, a nationwide internet outage impacted our ability to update our online View Outages map. We apologize for this inconvenience and outage information is now available on the map.

Our restoration workers have restored 61% 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 5:15 p.m. included:

 

Current Outages

Peak Outages

Restored

% Restored

Arkansas

3,399

 47,500

 44,101

93%

Louisiana

170,235

 270,900

 100,665

37%

Mississippi

0

 6,300

 6,300

100%

Texas

63,807

 291,300

 227,493

78%

System

237,441

 616,000

 378,559

61%

Entergy’s distribution and transmission systems have suffered extensive damage. Key transmission lines are out of service that will affect service restoration until they return.

Arkansas Update

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

Louisiana Update

In Louisiana, damage assessments are nearly complete. The remaining assessments will be more difficult due to extensive damage, especially in hard-hit Lake Charles, Calcasieu and Cameron Parish areas.

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. In severe weather like Hurricane Laura, power can be restored multiple times as the rolling effects of the storm move across the state. This is especially true for Entergy Louisiana’s Laura restoration, where 291,968 individual outages had been restored as of 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30.

Texas Update

Entergy Texas estimates that all customers who can take power in the 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.

Our 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 for 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.

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.

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 accept power.

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 23,200 workers including our own employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews from other companies. This workforce is the largest restoration effort we have ever mobilized.

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