Insights > Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 9/2/20 @ 8:30 a.m.
Hurricane Laura Restoration Update - 9/2/20 @ 8:30 a.m.
Crews continue to make significant restoration progress after Hurricane Laura impacted Entergy’s electrical system. The remaining Laura-related outages in Texas will be restored in early September. Restoration continues for customers in Louisiana, but those in Lake Charles and in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes face weeks without electrical power.
Our restoration workers have restored 77% 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 8:30 a.m. included:
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.
Severe transmission system damage in and around Lake Charles and in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes prevents bringing power into the area.
The damage assessment process is now complete, with the hardest-hit areas of Lake Charles and Calcasieu and Cameron parishes having approximately 6,637 poles, 11,886 spans of wire and 2,926 transformers damaged.
We have thousands of restoration workers in Lake Charles and the Cameron and Calcasieu parishes area. Our logistics team continues acquiring hotel rooms and mobile sleeping units to house and feed the thousands of restoration workers helping restore service for our customers. Some workers in southeast Texas will be redirected to southwest Louisiana, riding on buses to and from the work areas.
We have made great progress restoring customers in north Louisiana. We returned several substations to service which will allow us to better assess distribution damage and provide estimated restoration times for those customers. Crews are expected to restore all customers in north Louisiana who can safely take power by Thursday night.
In the Jennings area there are approximately 4,600 customers that remain out of power. More damage was found in the area on Monday that is affecting approximately 800 customers. 3,800 customers are being served from a substation that is not re-energized and we are working on repairs to the transmission line. We expect all customers not impacted by the transmission outage to be restored by the end of day today.
We use peak outages, which measure a moment in time, to indicate our restoration progress. Over the course of the storm and our restoration, the company has restored 341,906 individual outages in Louisiana as of 7 a.m. Sept. 2.
Due to level of destruction to system caused by Hurricane Laura, customers remaining without power in Port Arthur, Nederland, Port Neches, Groves area will be restored today.
Given the extent of damage, these times may change as our crews finish their assessments and make progress restoring customers. However, we expect to restore most of the remaining customers in the Orange area who can safely take power by Friday.
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, Laura’s damage to Entergy’s transmission system 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. While not all assessments have been completed, the damage is some of the most severe the company has experienced.
The transmission structure that supports a 500,000-volt line weighs roughly 40,000 pounds. Transporting just one requires three 18-wheeler trucks. For comparison, one 18-wheeler can transport about 50-100 distribution poles.
As more complete damage information is collected, we will continue to develop 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.
Even as we work to rebuild the transmission system, our power generation and transmission groups are working on a plan to provide power to some parts of the area despite the damaged transmission system.
Our restoration force of 23,200 workers includes our own employees, contractors and mutual assistance crews from other companies. This is the largest restoration effort we have ever mobilized, and its size will fluctuate as we complete restoration in some areas and relocate our workers.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.