Entergy is closely monitoring the tropical weather system located off the west coast of Florida as the storm moves through the Gulf of Mexico.
Though the storm is currently poorly organized, Entergy is prepared for the possibility that strong winds, heavy rains, higher tides and flooding along coastal areas could affect the companies' service territories.
Line crews will be positioned near the areas that could be impacted, and will be prepared to restore service to customers as quickly and safely as possible once the storm passes.
The company urges customers to monitor the storm and to prepare to implement their own storm plans if needed. Customers are also reminded to stay away from downed power lines and to call 1-800-9OUTAGE toll free.
To prepare for the 2010 hurricane season, the Entergy utility companies in Louisiana have:
· Enhanced storm-restoration models to provide quicker assessments and restoration times.
· Completed more than 3,800 miles of vegetation management. Approximately 6,200 miles of vegetation management will be completed this year.
· Used infrared to inspect major lines in order to detect potential problems before they occur. An emphasis was placed on lines serving hospitals and major response facilities.
· Conducted proactive inspections of primary lines to identify potential problems and perform preventative maintenance.
· Installed "switching" devices in strategic areas. These devices can reroute power flow, helping to reduce outage length for customers.
· Installed a new technology called a "fault location tool" on more than 80 major feeder lines that can help pinpoint damage locations for faster restoration.
· Renewed and strengthened mutual assistance agreements, contractor alliances and partnerships with key governmental agencies.
Tips for customers to follow before the storm:
· Stock up on nonperishable food, medicine, baby supplies and pet food. Keep a first-aid kit and manual handy. Have a non-electric can opener on hand.
· Purchase bottled water. The American Red Cross recommends one gallon of water per person per day.
· Check emergency equipment such as flashlights, battery-operated radios, extension cords, emergency generators, etc. Buy extra batteries.
· Keep extra cash on hand, since an electrical power outage may prevent you from withdrawing money from automatic teller machines or banks.
· Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. If the power goes out, this will keep food fresh longer. Keep the refrigerator closed most food will stay frozen or fresh up to 12 hours.
· Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronics.
· Place critical documents such as birth certificates, insurance documents, special pictures, etc., in a safe box.
· Fill your vehicle's gas tank.
· Secure items in your yard such as trash cans and patio furniture.
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 150,000 customers and natural gas to more than 96,000 customers in Orleans Parish.
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.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times