Citizens urged to prepare for possible severe weather and power outages

Entergy says it's ready and urges citizens to prepare too for possible severe weather

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -If you are an Entergy customer, you probably got a text this morning about the severe weather threat.

The utility company says it’s prepared to respond to community needs and urges residents to plan too.

As the wind picked up, tree trimmers for Entergy cut overhanging limbs that might otherwise knock down lines. Sustained winds must be less than 30 miles per hour to use buckets that lift workers into the trees or to work on lines.

Residents like Mike Fontenot were glad to see tree trimming that may help keep the lights on.

“I was very glad they’re trimming the trees down. The weather coming in, we need power, so with the trees being cut down, the wind would knock the trees down on the lines. So, my man can play video games all day. Because without power, we can’t see nothing.” said Fontenot, holding his two-year-old son.

Entergy customer service manager Margaret Harris says they have 1700 storm workers available for Louisiana.

“With our tree trimming it’s our goal to reduce outages. We will be vulnerable for really high winds that could also knock trees from outside the right-of-way into lines,” said Harris.

Once the storm passes, she says they will fully assess damage and work as quickly as possible to restore any power outages. She says safety is foremost.

“We ask you to stay very vigilant as this storm is coming in during the weekend when people are in different modes. If folks notice a downed line, please report it to 1-800-Entergy,” said Harris.

Calcasieu emergency managers are also keeping a watchful eye. OHSEP Director Dick Gremillion says it’s important to identify your safe place ahead of the storm.

“This is going to happen in the middle of the night. We’d like for people to go ahead and think now, ‘What are my actions are going to be if I hear there’s a tornado coming my way.’ If the storm starts to throw things around, already have a plan what you’re going to do before it gets here,” said Gremillion. Click here for tips on developing a plan.

He says set smart phones to receive government emergency alerts more likely to awaken someone than an ordinary phone call. Also, secure items outside.

“Loose chairs, things like that can blow around. Certainly, pick up things like that, bar-b-que pits. Because not only might you lose that, it could become a missile and hurt someone else’s property in a different location," he said.

And have water and non-perishable food in case the power is out for a while.

Entergy encourages customers to access their storm website to keep up with outages and other tools available. Click here for tips on preparing for the storm.

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