Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana Stand Ready for 2009 Storm Season
Companies prepared to restore power if major storm hits Louisiana
Baton Rouge, La. – With the official start of hurricane season just two weeks away, Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. are ready to quickly and safely restore power should a destructive storm hit Louisiana.
The companies talked about their readiness at a press conference in Baton Rouge on Monday, and provided information on Entergy’s Storm Center – a Web site accessible from Entergy’s home page that is activated during a hurricane. The site experienced heavy use by customers during Gustav and Ike. If a hurricane strikes Louisiana, Entergy’s Storm Center will provide restoration updates, outage maps, information on hurricane safety and preparedness, restoration videos and photographs.
“We understand that if a major storm strikes Louisiana, a loss of power doesn’t just affect local communities, it also affects the state and the nation as a whole,” said Renae Conley, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. “Entergy is one of the nation’s best at responding to a major weather event and restoring power to our customers. We put a lot of forethought and effort into preparing for storm season and we are ready to respond to any storm that threatens our area.”
Earlier this year, Entergy won both an Emergency Recovery Award and an Emergency Assistance Award for its power restoration in 2008. Entergy is the only utility in the nation to have won an EEI restoration award in each of the 11 years that the two awards have been given out.
The featured speaker at Monday’s event was Chris Hebert, lead hurricane meteorologist at ImpactWeather in Houston. In addition to giving a brief prediction of the 2009 storm season, Hebert discussed his Hurricane Severity Index, a new way to measure major storms that uses both wind speed and the size of the storm to calculate its strength.
“Just looking at the wind speed on the Saffir-Simpson scale doesn’t tell the whole story of how destructive a storm is,” Hebert said. “The Saffir-Simpson scale is based on maximum winds and does not consider the size or scope of the wind field. It also doesn’t predict storm surge. It is not a good estimate of potential damage.”
Conley and Entergy “Storm Boss” Randy Helmick, vice president of transmission, reviewed the companies’ response to hurricanes Gustav and Ike and outlined preparations for the 2009 storm season. Special emphasis was placed on how power is restored. Monday’s event also featured a tour of the Baton Rouge-area Distribution Operations Center, an Arcs and Sparks safety demonstration and a model showing how power is restored after a hurricane.
“We’ve undertaken hurricane drills to ensure that our employees are prepared in case a storm hits the Entergy service territory,” Helmick said. “We’ve also reviewed our mutual assistance agreements with other utility companies to make sure that manpower and resources are available should a storm hit. In short, we are prepared for hurricane season.”
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.
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