Entergy Louisiana crews are on standby across the state as the utility prepares for snow, ice and freezing temperatures statewide beginning tonight and into the week.
The National Weather Service is predicting several inches of snow possible in north Louisiana and ice accumulations up to one-fourth an inch possible in north and central Louisiana, and up to half an inch possible in portions of south Louisiana, including Baton Rouge.
If this type of winter precipitation occurs, it could pose significant challenges for our electric system, especially in cities, such as Baton Rouge that have a large tree canopy. Snow and ice can add weight to tree limbs and cause them to fall into electric equipment, downing power lines and utility poles. It can also add weight to power lines, causing them to sag and break crossarms or damage other electric equipment.
Crews have been going through their pre-storm checklists, much like they would ahead of a hurricane. Line workers are prepping and fueling their trucks and making sure they have adequate winter clothing.
Restoration during extremely cold weather can take time. If outages do occur, crews may have to bring customers online in phases to avoid damaging the electric system. Crews will also continue practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may slow restoration work. This is often the case in areas where customers have all-electric homes. To learn more about restoring power in extremely cold weather, visit entergynewsroom.com/storm-center/restoration/extreme-cold/.
These are extreme conditions creating high demand for electricity over the next few days. Some ways customers can help conserve energy through this period:
- Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees.
- Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
- Delay laundry, washing dishes, bathing and other non-essential uses of electricity until this appeal for conservation has ended.
- Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
- Don’t allow warmed air to escape from the home.
Customers should be prepared for winter weather as well. For preparedness and safety tips, visit entergynewsroom.com/storm-center/winterweather.
STORM RESTORATION PROCESS
If there are widespread outages, we will deploy scouts to assess damage. We base our estimates of restoration times on those assessments. We will communicate these estimates with you, updating as new information becomes available. Our crews will simultaneously be restoring service where it is deemed safe to do so. We ask for your patience, and please know restoring your power safely and quickly is our top priority.
The restoration process can be hampered by the surge of instantaneous electrical demand from appliances (heating units, water heaters, etc.) when service is restored to your location, potentially overloading protective devices on Entergy’s electrical system. To help mitigate this problem, Entergy encourages you to turn off any electrical heaters or electrical appliances that can easily be turned off until power is restored.
Please be mindful of the following safety tips:
- Live wires can be deadly. Stay away from downed power lines. Call 1-800-9OUTAGE or 1-800-968-8243 to report downed or dangling power lines, poles or other damaged equipment.
- Do not trim trees or remove debris on or near downed power lines. Only power company crews or their contractors should remove trees or limbs touching power lines.
- Keep away from the immediate areas where crews are working. There is always the danger of moving equipment and the possibility of construction materials or limbs or overhead wires falling to the ground.
- If you plan on using a generator for temporary power, get a licensed electrician and disconnect from the utility electric system before hooking up to your main electric panel.
- Do not run a generator in a confined space without adequate ventilation.
- Turn off any electrical appliances that can easily be turned to the off position until power is restored.
- Check on seniors, who can be particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures.
- Try to stay off the roads in affected areas. Restoration crews can work safer and faster if they don’t have to work around traffic.
We want to keep you informed. The best way to get information about outages is via Entergy’s View Outage page on our website. Additional resources for your convenience:
- Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
- Sign up for text alerts. From your cellphone text REG to 36778.
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center
- Follow us on Twitter at @EntergyNOLAand @EntergyLA or on Facebook at facebook.com/EntergyNOLA or facebook.com/EntergyLA.
- Call us at 800-9OUTAGE (800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media like radio television and newspapers.