"Customers in hardest-hit areas should prepare for possibility of extended power outages," warns Entergy Texas.
Entergy Texas is finalizing storm preparations ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Laura, which is now forecast to make landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border late tonight or early tomorrow as a destructive Category 4 hurricane, the company reported Aug. 26 at about 3:30 p.m. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center warns of catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding along the northwest Gulf Coast.
Customers should finalize their storm preparations and follow the guidance of local and state officials. While Entergy Texas is assembling thousands of resources to respond to this storm, the intensity and its potentially devastating impacts across Southeast Texas may result in extended outages for customers in the hardest-hit areas.
“This is a serious weather event and has the potential to cause significant and widespread damage, including to our electrical system,” said Allen East, vice president of distribution operations for Entergy Texas. “During these times, the safety of the public and our employees is paramount. We will begin restoring power as soon as it is safe to do so, but depending on the severity of the damage caused, customers in the hardest-hit areas should be prepared for extended outages when developing their personal plans.”
In addition to the company’s local workforce, Entergy has requested mutual assistance. Workers from 20 states are coming to assist in restoring power following Laura. We continue acquiring more resources for our restoration teams, with nearly 10,000 currently ready to restore service for customers along the Gulf Coast whose power may be affected by Laura.
Entergy has moved equipment and crews from the path of the storm to allow them to quickly begin restoration work as soon as the storm passes. Additionally, crews have added flood protections for equipment in other areas that could see high water. High-water vehicles, drones, helicopters and airboats have also been secured to assist in restoration efforts. Crews are also following COVID-19 precautionary measures, which can slow restoration work.
Crews will not move back into the area to begin restoration until it is safe to do so. While some work can be done on the ground, crews cannot begin using bucket trucks until sustained winds are less than 30 mph. As crews learn more about the damage, a plan will be put in place that restores power to the greatest number of customers safely in the shortest amount of time.
Crews will continue to practice social distancing while in the field due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Entergy asks that customers do the same. For the safety of crews and customers, the company requests that residents stay away from work zones. If there is a need to report a service problem, customers should call 1-800-ENTERGY.
Staying informed before, during and after a tropical system strikes is just as important as making personal storm plans. Here’s how customers can stay updated throughout the event:
- Download the Entergy App at entergyapp.com. Customers can use the app to report outages or check on the status of power at their home or business.
- Entergy’s View Outages website includes maps that show where outages are located and give information about restoration progress.
- 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.
- The Entergy Storm Center website has storm safety, preparation and restoration information that is updated throughout the day.
- Operation: Storm Ready Guide is a free downloadable guide that helps customers plan and prepare for weather emergencies.
Social media plays an important role in keeping customers informed, and the company places a high priority on updating its social media channels throughout an event. Customers can follow Entergy Texas on Facebook and Twitter.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to approximately 461,000 customers in 27 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 8,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,600 employees.