Posted: Sunday, 02 September 2012 2:53PM
Entergy: "Please be patient"
WWL's Kristian Garic spoke with Entergy New Orleans CEO Charles Rice today about the ongoing outages impacting local residents.
"We are continuing to work...At 7 o clock, we had 65% of the city of New Orleans and Jefferson back on," Rice said. "For those without, we sympathize, we're doing the best we can."
Entergy's website numbers show that at the peak of the outage, 186,000 customers were without power. As of 2:00 p.m. Sunday, the website showed 76,000 still in the dark.
"We expect to have 70% restoration by Monday," Rice said.
Click HERE to listen to WWL's Kristian Garic's interview with Rice....
When pressed on why so many customers were nearly a week without power, Rice said that his crews have been on the scene for only a few days.
"I'm not trying to make an excuse...but this is only our third day of restoration," Rice said. "We could not safely have our people working when winds were above 30 miles per hour...I understand that people have been out since Monday, Tuesday...But we could not begin work until Thursday."
Rice said, "I'm responsible for the lives of these men out there working, I cannot put them in harm's way."
"I cannot emphasize enough that these people are risking their lives to return power."
Frustrated residents and business owners have jammed the phone lines of WWL Radio for days, looking for answers about the power outage.
"I apologize for the inconvenience, but please be patient," Rice said.
Asked whether there were any miscalculations by Entergy in the planning and execution about Isaac, Rice said, "I don't think we miscalculated...We had 2,000 people moving in even before the storm hit land."
Rice said that his people are highly qualified and are sought-after around the country.
"People may not think we were prepared, but I assure you, we've done this many times," he said. "When there are storms that hit other parts of the country, there are areas that request our guys, request our expertise."