Insights > A Storm Within a Storm: Entergy New Orleans Crews Show Resilience to Restore Power in a Pandemic

A Storm Within a Storm: Entergy New Orleans Crews Show Resilience to Restore Power in a Pandemic


Preparing for a storm is a challenge that Entergy New Orleans lineworkers train for year-round, but it takes a little different effort and resilience to restore power during a dual event -- a storm and a pandemic.  

Tropical Storm Cristobal was the first storm of the 2020 hurricane season that required Entergy New Orleans crews to gear up for potential power outages in new ways. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, crews began to train on ways to work 6 feet apart, wear face coverings when in close proximity to each other, and to sanitize trucks and equipment before and after use. While Entergy New Orleans always encourages families to have a storm preparedness plan, this year, storm prep took on a new meaning for one crew member’s mom. She sewed masks out of flame-retardant T-shirts for linemen at the Tulane Avenue site.

Entergy New Orleans linemen practice social distancing with FT masks sewn by team member's mother.

“In my 13 years with Entergy, working storms has made me and other linemen as close as family because we travel together, lodge together and share meals as a team. That had to change a bit this year to keep us all safe and healthy,” said Davin Smith, Entergy New Orleans senior linemen. “While my brothers and I were able to safely reconnect our customers’ power during Tropical Storm Cristobal, our bonding experience was slightly impacted. However, it was still a job well done.”

Before the storm made landfall, Entergy mobilized a team of approximately 2,700 employees and contractors to restore power across Louisiana. New Orleans customers who lost power due to the storm were restored quickly and safely early Monday morning.   

“Thanks to our proactive reliability efforts preparing for Tropical Storm Cristobal outages were kept to a minimum,” said Shelton Hudson, Entergy New Orleans line superintendent (pictured right). “As we go through hurricane season, our crews are ready for the challenge of working storm restoration through a pandemic and we’ll follow all safety guidelines to stay safe because our dedication to our community will never waver.”

Maleiya Porter-Jones
Communications Specialist II