Winter Sends Second Icy Storm to Southeast Texas
BEAUMONT January 27, 2014 – Round 2 of this year’s wintry mix weather is taking aim at Southeast Texas and other points along the Interstate 10 corridor into south Louisiana and Mississippi. But when the temperatures drop to the upper 20s early Tuesday, Entergy Texas, Inc. crews will already have prepared for whatever may follow.
“We have been watching the weather forecasts and recognize that some of the same conditions we saw last weekend are expected to repeat with this round,” said Vernon Pierce, vice president, customer service for Entergy Texas. “We have already begun working with local authorities to ensure our personnel can gain access as quickly as possible to areas that may experience power outages, even if roads and bridges are iced over.”
Access, for Entergy Texas crews as well as the general public, was a problem last week when a number of bridges in particular became impassable. While Southeast Texas escaped widespread outages, restoring power was slowed by access problems in some areas.
While no one can predict how many outages may occur with the cold weather, snow and ice storms bring their own unique problems to bear—from lines covered in ice to tree limbs or other debris that may be blown into power lines.
Additionally, outages created during extreme weather require, if caused by the weather or other problems, are restored following a careful process. And that process requires more time than during moderate temperatures.
“When we make repairs to a power line or other equipment, we bring our customers back online one section at a time to avoid damage to our system which could make the situation worse,” Pierce said. “This is because when temperatures are either very hot or very cold, customers are using much more electricity than normal either for air conditioning or heating. That higher usage means we have a much higher energy demand. Bringing all the customers back online at one time could create a situation where we are demanding more power than our built-in protective devices can handle, which could lead to a line tripping off, possibly causing more damage.”
In the same way that Entergy is taking a hard look at what may occur over Tuesday and Wednesday and developing contingency plans to deal with it, customers are urged to make their plans, too.
Safety needs to be the first priority,” Pierce said. “We’re getting our trucks ready for driving in icing conditions and our personnel ready to walk on snow and ice. We can all take safety precautions by driving slowly and carefully, watching out for ice and remembering a theme we have at Entergy where we all realize we are our ‘brother’s keeper’ and watch out for each other. We want our customers to do the same.”
Customers are also reminded that a simple, free app is available for smartphones at entergy.com/app. Customers can download the app and also sign up for text by texting REG to 36837. Additional resources are available through the Entergy Storm Center or View Outages. And with social media all the rage, Entergy Texas is on board and providing information through Twitter @EntergyTX and Facebook, Facebook.com/EntergyTX.
“Those who feel like they need to do more to get ready, there’s not much time left so we encourage them to take advantage of the resources we offer and be prepared,” Pierce said.
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