Reliability a priority as Entergy builds back stronger

Hurricane Season 2022: Staying Strong
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:09 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The 2020 hurricanes presented very unique challenges, especially for electric companies. Entergy says that gave them the opportunity to build back even stronger.

“It was unique, because it was really one of the worst storms I have seen in my career,” said Entergy lineman Michael Nail.

Nail reflects on the days of rigorous hard work following the landfall of Hurricane Laura, calling it one of the worst storms he has ever seen.

“When we got into Iowa, we looked at each other and said, ‘here we go’,” Nail said.

It’s boots on the ground as soon as it’s safe for these men. They work long days without warm meals and running water. For some, their homes are even destroyed.

“A lot of them couldn’t get out of their driveway because trees were down,” Nail said. “So, we would send our guys who would show up at the office with chainsaws just to cut them out so they could go to work.”

Nail is one of the 26,000 crew members who worked to repair what Entergy calls a “large scale logistics effort.”

Eleven thousand distribution poles, 3,000 transformers and 22,000 spans of wire were lost during Hurricane Laura.

Entergy spokesperson Margaret Harris said the company applies lessons learned from these storms to improve their reliability.

“We’ve upgraded to Class 1 poles on our wooden poles, and you will see they are more robust,” Harris said. “Many of those went in after Hurricane Laura, and on our new projects, the standards are higher.”

Harris also said energy converted a number of interstate line crossings to underground to mitigate downed power lines. The company said they are looking to accelerate timelines of these investments to increase reliability, while decreasing outage periods.

“We are adding automation on our system to shorten the duration the outages and give us more options to get power up more quickly and have less of an impact to people,” Harris said.

Entergy reminds customers to sign up for notifications. You’ll be alerted when there’s a power outage and estimate restoration times. You can update information here.

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