Power restoration times unknown for customers with 'severe structure damage'

Power restoration times unknown for customers with 'severe structure damage'

(WAFB) - Restoring power is an essential need to returning to a sense of normalcy.

Entergy reported Monday (August 22) that power has been restored to all customers who can safely receive it. Officials said some areas are still underwater and it may take some time to get electricity for about 2,000 customers with severe damage.

Entergy said it has crews from four states walking through neighborhoods doing a house-by-house damage assessment. DEMCO crews are also working in neighborhoods to try and get power restored to its customers. Both companies have to inspect electrical equipment and say they will re-energize lines where it is safe to do so.

Entergy added at the height of the flood event 32,157 customers  were in the dark. Even those Entergy customers in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs and Gonzales who did not flood will have to wait for power restoration. The utility company says it cannot restore power to their areas until all meters are inspected on their circuit, including transformers and fuses.

DEMCO asks members who are already gutting their homes to keep in mind the electrical infrastructure that may be nearby. The green boxes (cabinets), transformers and pedestals are being assessed by servicemen before power can be restored. The company is asking for a clearance of an eight foot radius for their crews to safely inspect the infrastructure.

Entergy says its crews are doing assessments now.

"This is an unprecedented disaster," said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of customer service for Louisiana. "Our crews are working hard to inspect the electrical system and take the necessary steps to keep customers safe. We thank everyone for their patience as we all get through this together."

Entergy offered the following guidelines for flood victims:

Did water at your home or office reach the outside electric meter? 

If so, Entergy will remove the electric meter. You may need city inspections once work is completed to turn the power back on. After this is done, call Entergy at 1-800-368-3749 for a reconnect.  When they receive permits, they will reinstall service to the facility.

Did the water level rise above your electrical outlets but stop below the electric meter?

If you are present when Entergy arrives:

  • Entergy will advise you to turn off your main breaker and have repairs made. You will then need to turn your main breaker back on when repairs are complete.
  • For your safety, Entergy suggests that a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment inside of the facility or home, even if your city or parish does not require an inspection. If the breaker is turned on before such inspections, you may cause personal injury or property damage.

If you are not present when Entergy arrives:

  • Entergy will disconnect the electric meter, and it will remain in place. You will not have power at this point.
  • For your safety, Entergy suggests that a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment inside of the facility or home.

Baton Rouge Natural Gas Customers

  • Entergy gas personnel are currently patrolling areas affected by flooding to assess damage to gas meters and associated facilities. We currently estimate that up to 25,000 Entergy gas meters were submerged during the flood and may need to be replaced.
  • If your home or business experienced significant flooding, Entergy gas personnel may need to turn off your gas service and remove your gas meter.  If your gas meter is removed, a permit will be required to re-establish service.
  • If one or more of your gas appliances have flooded, contact a licensed plumber or contractor to inspect your system before using the flooded appliance. Don't try to put a flooded natural gas appliance back in service yourself. You may be required to obtain a permit from your respective city or parish before we can restore your gas service.
  • If you experience any interruption of your natural gas service, call 1-800-ENTERGY to report a natural gas outage.
  • Anytime you smell natural gas, or if you hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window, leave the area immediately and call 1-800-ENTERGY.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.