Power company representatives in hot seat after recent storm outages

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Officials from several of the power companies in Louisiana admitted Wednesday they were caught off guard by the power of the storm that ripped through part of the state a few weeks ago.

Louisiana Public Service Commissioners, who help regulate utility companies in the state, questioned the various power companies about why some were left in the dark longer than others.

Entergy officials blamed a bad forecast and accessibility issues.

"Baton Rouge has challenges. There is a large percentage of Baton Rouge where our electrical lines are built in the rear of a home," said Dennis Dawsey, Vice President of Customer Service for Entergy Louisiana. "It was built that way from the 60s and 70s. We monitor that and control that through aggressive vegetation management."

Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle said that while it appears the power companies, specifically Entergy, had enough people in place, it doesn't seem like they had enough equipment ready to go.

Entergy representatives told the commission they could have used more rear access buggies, equipment that makes it easier to access power poles located behind homes.

"We understand that we do not have enough, clearly for a major event," said Dawsey. "That's why part of our protocol is to ask all of our responding companies to bring that equipment with them."

Commissioner Angelle questioned if the four that Entergy had staged was enough.

"Clearly four is not enough," Angelle said. "It was obvious to me that four was not enough and you went and got some additional ones and it did take some extraordinary time."

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