Insights > 9:30 a.m. Update - Our Crews and Contractors are on Alert for Tropical Storm Sally
9:30 a.m. Update - Our Crews and Contractors are on Alert for Tropical Storm Sally
Restoration workers in Louisiana and Mississippi continue monitoring and planning for the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Sally late today and tomorrow.
Sally’ s forecast track has moved eastward, bringing the storm in as a Category 1 hurricane. The track east of but like that of Hurricane Isaac in 2012. Heavy rain and strongest winds are forecast for coastal Mississippi. Visit the National Weather Service to see “Sally Key Takeaways.”
Workers are preparing for potential power outages. Crews and contractors are on alert and ready to safely restore power to customers as quickly as possible.
We have crews working to rebuild the portions of the electric system in southwest Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Laura. Our commitment to that region does not impact our ability to support customers elsewhere or call in or shift additional resources to different areas. We have identified additional off-system resources to assist in responding to Sally. We are confident we can manage both events effectively.
We already have crews located in SE Louisiana and are relocating company personnel within the service territory and contacting offsite contractors and mutual assistance utilities to provide restoration workers to help restore power to our customers.
We encourage customers to monitor all local weather alerts and have their storm plans in place. It is important to remember that due to the additional safety measures the companies must take because of the COVID-19 pandemic or an inability to secure enough offsite resources, restoration times may be extended, especially if there are widespread outages.
Along with standard storm preparations, Entergy continues to navigate through the pandemic by taking additional preparation steps and adhering to all CDC and state guidelines. Crews will continue to practice social distancing, even in the field, and we ask that customers do the same. For their safety and yours, please stay away from work zones. If you need to report a problem with your service at any time, call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749).
Here’s how we approach things at this stage:
- Essential services such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and water systems are at the head of the restoration list, along with our equipment that supplies electricity to large numbers of customers.
- Then we will concentrate our resources on getting the greatest number of customers back the fastest.
- We can’t use our bucket trucks until sustained winds are less than 30 mph, but we can still begin restoring service to customers by closing circuit breakers, rerouting power and other actions.
Our restoration process is a team effort. As we respond to this storm, we will use a very detailed, rehearsed plan that has worked well for us during past storm events.
- Restoration involves not only workers from our area but also crews from other parts of the four states we serve, other utility companies and contractors.
- 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.
Since flooding is a major threat for this event, we have already secured and mobilized high water vehicles and inspected our substation flood protection to ensure the pumps are gassed up and ready to go. Crews are also working to stage equipment and materials to higher ground in low lying locations. We have also patrolled the critical circuits that serve the Sewerage and Water Board facilities and will continue to work with them throughout this event.
We take steps to protect the safety of our customers, our employees and our equipment during floods. We work closely with local emergency officials and civil defense departments to keep abreast of the latest conditions and expected flood stages and to ensure the safety of employees and the public in the event of flooding.
Sustained flooding could make many areas inaccessible and prevent us from quickly and safely restoring power in a timeframe customers may have come to expect from their experience in previous storms.
Restoration of affected locations could be hampered if workers are unable to access some areas or assess equipment covered with water. When flood waters recede and it is safe to do so, our workers will evaluate damage and begin restoration.
We are taking steps to protect from flooding our substations that distribute electric service to many customers over large areas. They consist of advanced equipment, including electronics and computers, that monitor and re-route power instantaneously through high-speed relays and equipment that protect the electric system.
Flooding can cause extraordinary challenges to our restoration efforts. Extensive flooding combined with repeated damage could affect our ability to provide customers an estimated time when we will restore their power.
You should stay safe during the storm.
- 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 away from standing water and debris from trees and other vegetation. It may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Gas Customer Information
The location of many Entergy customers makes flooding a possibility when major storms cause coastal surges and heavy rainfall. As floodwaters rise, it raises the potential for water to penetrate the natural gas system in low-lying portions of the region and cause customers to lose gas service. Additionally, heavy rainfall and rushing water can erode the ground around buried utilities. This can potentially cause breaks in gas mains, making it possible for water to get into the system and result in customers losing gas service.
Entergy in preparation for the rain and wind expected from Sally is providing the following safety tips for residents to consider around natural gas facilities.
In the event of a flood:
- If you have flooding in or around your gas meter or appliances, call Entergy at 1-800 ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749).
- Turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off.
- If you notice a strong gas odor, or if there is other evidence of a natural gas leak, do not enter the premises.
- If water levels were enough to cover the gas meter, call Entergy to check your meter and regulator before using your gas system. Floodwaters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses to the gas piping, possibly resulting in a natural gas leak.
- Do not attempt to disconnect or work on your natural gas meter and piping.
- As wet electrical wiring is extremely hazardous, ensure the main electrical supply is shut off.
- If flooding has been severe, natural gas appliances should not be used until inspected by a licensed plumber or contractor.
- Do not attempt to place natural gas appliances back in service yourself. A licensed plumber or contractor will check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes, which may have been clogged with mud or debris.
- Damage could also occur to switches, controls, thermostats, furnace heat exchangers, burner and pilot parts and rusting metals parts, to name a few. Again, any reconditioning or repair work to natural gas appliances must be performed by a licensed plumber or contractor.
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 our View Outages page.
- Follow us on Twitter.com/entergy or Facebook.com/entergy.
- Call us at 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media, like radio, television and newspapers.