Power companies give estimates of when customers in the Baton Rouge area can expect power to be restored

When will the lights turn back on?

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Entergy Louisiana and DEMCO have estimates for customers who are without power across the Baton Rouge area for approximately when they can expect power to be restored in their neighborhood.

Both companies tell WAFB’s Austin Kemker they understand the last four days have been challenging and appreciate the patience of their customers.

Crews for both power companies are working around the clock to restore power throughout the area and are making progress.

The widespread tree damage from the ice has been a major hindrance for power crews. The ice took down whole power poles for both companies which requires a significant amount of personnel and resources to restore.

David Latona, Vice President of Marketing and Member Services, for DEMCO says there were 40 locations throughout the company’s coverage area that had power poles down. Some of the locations had multiple power poles which slowed down the restoration efforts to individual homes.

Latona says at the peak of the winter storm DEMCO had more than 39,000 members without power. As of midday Friday, Feb. 19, that number was down to about 1,077 members.

The majority of DEMCO members without power are in Livingston and St. Helena parishes. He says 459 members are without power in Livingston Parish and 372 are without power in St. Helena Parish.

DEMCO services seven parishes in Louisiana and Entergy Louisiana services 58 parishes. Many of the parishes that Entergy Louisiana provides service to is some of the harder hit parishes in Central and North Louisiana.

The extent of damage to DEMCO’s service area has made it challenging for the energy coperative to provide a parish by parish breakdown of estimated restoration times. However, Latona says DEMCO hopes to have power restored to all of its members by Friday, Feb. 19.

CHECK ON OUTAGES IN YOUR AREA:

As of Tuesday, Feb. 16, more than 62,000 Entergy Louisiana customers were without power across the state. As of Friday, Feb. 19 that number was down to about 32,559 customers.

David Freese, a spokesperson for Entergy Louisiana, says the company has faced many challenges in restoring power in older parts of Baton Rouge. He says many of the homes have electrical panels in the back yard or in the back ally, which makes it nearly impossible for a bucket to get to the panel.

Freese says in many cases crews have had to manually scale power poles in the Baton Rouge area and manually dig holes, which has cut down on the speed of restoration efforts.

Entergy has brought in resources from other states and has approximately 3,330 personnel working to restore power.

Freese says if the company’s online outage map shows that your neighborhood has power but you do not actually have power, you should call them at 800-968-8243 to let them know.

Both power companies are asking customers who still don’t have power to unplug major appliances, such as refrigerators and washing machines, to reduce strain on the electrical grid when power is restored.

Customers who currently have power are also asked to do their part to reduce consumption for the same reason.

The following are estimates for when Entergy Louisiana customers in the Baton Rouge area can expect to have power restored.

East Baton Rouge Parish

Number of outages as of 7 a.m Thursday, Feb. 18.: 10,103

Percentage of damage assessments complete: 95%

Estimated restoration: Crews are working the following areas of Baton Rouge today

Baton Rouge South areas we expect the vast majority to be restored Thursday, February 18 by 5 p.m.:

  • Nesser
  • Inniswold
  • Wildwood/Mayfair
  • Magnolia Woods
  • Westminister
  • Iberville Terrace

Baton Rouge South areas we expect the vast majority to be restored Thursday, February 18 by 11:30 p.m.:

  • Highland Park & Kenilworth
  • LSU area

Baton Rouge East areas we expect the vast majority to be restored Thursday, February 18 by 5 p.m.:

  • Villa Del Rey
  • Stevendale/South River Oaks area

Baton Rouge East areas we expect the vast majority to be restored Thursday, February 18 by 11:30 p.m.:

  • Isolated cases throughout East Baton Rouge

Livingston Parish

Number of outages as of 7 a.m.: 1,025

Percentage of damage assessments complete: 95%

Estimated restoration: The vast majority of customers who can accept power have been restored with some customer outages extending into Thursday, February 18.

We expect the vast majority to be restored Thursday, February 18 by 5 p.m.:

  • South Denham Springs (South of I-12)
  • Town of Livingston

We expect the vast majority to be restored Thursday, February 18 by 11:30 p.m.:

  • North Denham Springs (North of Hwy 190)
  • Central Denham Springs (between I-12 and Hwy.190)
  • North Walker

St. Helena Parish

Number of outages as of 7 a.m.: 26

Percentage of damage assessments complete: 95%

Estimated restoration: The vast majority of customers who can accept power have been restored with some customer outages extending into Thursday, February 18 by 9 p.m.

Area Notes: Crews continue to work through vegetation issues while managing the cold load restoration process in the area of Amite north to Kentwood and Louisiana/Mississippi state line. Damages have been crossarms and wire down with some broken poles. Icing on trees were more severe near the LA/MS state line.

Tangipahoa Parish

Number of outages as of 7 a.m.: 2,881

Percentage of damage assessments complete: 95%

Estimated restoration: The vast majority of customers who can accept power have been restored with some customer outages in Tangipahoa, Fluker, Arcola, Kentwood, Amite, Montpelier, Holten and Wilmer extending into Thursday, February 18 by 9 p.m.

538 customers remain out – Fluker, Arcola, Tangipahoa, Kentwood South

216 customers remain out - Kentwood East

146 customers remain out - Kentwood North and West

299 customers remain out – Kentwood and south of Kentwood

21 customers remain out – Amite and South

287 customers remain out – Amite West and Montpelier

59 customers remain out – East of Amite to Holten

71 customers remain out - Wilmer

The following information is from Entergy Louisiana:

Customers should remain prepared:

  • Charge up mobile devices and back-up batteries.
  • Download the Entergy app to sign up for text updates.
  • Review guidance at Entergy Storm Center.
  • If you have medical equipment that requires electricity to properly function, take necessary steps to secure an alternative source of electricity in the event of a power disruption.
  • Have an emergency kit including flashlights, medicine, first aid, water and food.

Safety is our number one priority. If you lose power:

  • Stay away from downed power lines and assume they are energized. Report them to 1-800-9OUTAGE.
  • Report your power outage online to Entergy Louisiana or call 1-800-9OUTAGE. There is no need to speak with a customer service representative to report an outage if completed online.
  • If you have a portable generator, use it safely. DO NOT run it in an enclosed space. If connecting to the whole house, do so only if the connection has been installed by a licensed electrician to prevent back feed on to the distribution system.
  • Do not open your refrigerator or freezer door. Food will stay cold much longer this way. If outside temperature is below freezing, consider placing food in an ice chest outside.
  • Please stay clear of linemen as they work to safely restore power
  • Customers without power can help in the restoration process by turning off major appliances but leaving on a lamp or other light to indicate when power is restored. Then, gradually turn other appliances to spread out the increase in power usage over a longer time.

Conserve Electricity:

Remember that extreme cold can drive increased electricity consumption. Follow these easy steps to reduce consumption and lower your usage:

  • Heating can account for as much as 55% of your monthly electric bill. Setting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter is an easy way to reduce how much energy you use. Every degree above 68 on the thermostat can increase your bill by about 3%.
  • Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at local home improvement stores and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the set temperature.
  • Ensure fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This helps keep the cold air from blowing down on you.
  • Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.
  • Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.

STORM RESTORATION PROCESS

  • Following a storm, we deploy scouts to assess damage. Our scouts work as quickly and safely as possible in sometimes very dangerous conditions. As damages are assessed, we will communicate with you the conditions found along with an estimated restoration time and our progress toward restoring your power. We ask for your patience, and please know restoring your power safely and quickly is our top priority.
  • As we assess the damage, we will begin restoring service where it is deemed safe to do so.

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