Entergy's New Orleans metro area companies, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. and Entergy Louisiana, LLC, are monitoring the progress of Hurricane Ike and preparing for the outer bands of this storm to impact Entergy's service territory during the next 24 hours.
With wind gusts expected to reach up to 60 miles per hour in the metropolitan area, Hurricane Ike is already causing sporadic outages. Entergy crews are working to restore outages as they happen, and crews are prepared to work long hours restoring service to customers as quickly and safely as possible.
Entergy urges customers to prepare for the possibility of extended power outages with emergency preparedness kits. Entergy also reminds customers to stay away from downed power lines and to call 1-800-9OUTAGE toll free to report an outage. For more information detailing Entergy's hurricane response, visit www.entergy.com.
When Ike's winds hit the area, trees already weakened or damaged by Hurricane Gustav and unsecured debris from Gustav could contribute to additional damage to Entergy's distribution system.
Rod West, president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans, Inc. said, "Our customers need to know that Entergy's crews will work as long as it is safe to do so to ensure that any Ike-related outages are restored as quickly and safely as possible."
Whenever weather impacts electric service to the area, Entergy follows a restoration plan that concentrates on first restoring service to essential customers like hospitals, police, fire, communications, water, sanitary services, transportation providers and customers with special medical needs that are registered with the company. Then, Entergy crews turn their attention to repairing electrical facilities that will return service to the largest number of customers in the shortest period of time.
At Entergy, storm preparations begin months prior to hurricane season and Entergy has contacted suppliers to ensure the availability of poles, wire and all other electrical equipment.
In the New Orleans metro region Entergy prepared for the 2008 hurricane season by undertaking a series of plans to protect the system from potential storms. The company:
* Enhanced 22 circuits throughout the city by adding approximately 110 fuses and replacing 340 cross arms to improve reliability and prepare for future storms,
* Trimmed 350 miles of power lines to reduce storm-induced power outages,
* Used infrared technology to evaluate and repair 80 points of customer and Entergy facilities,
* Ensured mutual assistance agreements and contractor alliances and strengthened partnerships with key governmental agencies
* Performed detailed hurricane and tabletop drills to test all functions of the company's emergency-response teams,
* Educated 1.1 million Louisiana customers with hurricane preparedness bill inserts.
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility serving Orleans Parish and is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. The company provides electricity to more than 141,000 customers and natural gas to more than 88,000 customers in Orleans Parish.