Even as the outer bands from Hurricane Ike have begun striking the Louisiana coastline with wind gusts as much as 60 miles per hour, Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. are relocating crews from other parts of Entergy's electric system in Louisiana where restoration work is complete to continue restoration efforts in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Gustav and prepare for a potential impact from Hurricane Ike as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico.
"I want to assure our customers in parishes such as East Baton Rouge, Assumption, Iberville, Terrebonne and Lafourche that our restoration efforts in these areas will continue full speed ahead as long as it is safe to do so," said Renae Conley, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana.
Power restoration work in Baton Rouge is proceeding at a rapid pace and is now 85 percent complete as of Wednesday night. Entergy is about one week ahead of schedule and now expects 90 percent of the restoration in the Baton Rouge area to be completed by the end of day tomorrow, with 100 percent restoration targeted for Sept. 17.
In those areas west of Baton Rouge where work is substantially complete, crews began preparing to respond to any damage in Louisiana caused by Hurricane Ike. Some out-of-state utility and contractor crews that were working in areas where restoration is complete could be released to assist utilities in areas where Ike is expected to cause widespread damage.
Crews in low-lying parishes are being temporarily moved out of harm's way to locations where they can return to work once it is safe to do so. No crews working in the hardest-hit areas will be relocated out of the state.
Entergy's Louisiana utility companies serve more than one million customers through the operating companies Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are part of Entergy Corporation's electric system serving 2.7 million customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas.