It's going to be very similar to preparing for a storm in the Gulf, according to Entergy spokeswoman Melonie Stewart
''We are of course monitoring the weather and activating both our local and state command centers,'' said Stewart.
Listen to Entergy's Melonie Stewart:
Stewart explains why ice is enemy number one and not really possible snow.
''Any more than a third of an inch of ice that accumulates on your lines or trees, you're going to see branches and trees come down and of course that's going to effect the power lines,'' said Stewart.
She says they have trucks ready both in and outside the Metro area equipped with chains if necessary.
The following tips should be helpful for individuals in the path of a winter storm:
- Live wires can be deadly. Stay away from downed power lines. Call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243) to report downed or dangling power lines, poles or other damaged equipment.
- Don’t trim trees or remove debris on or near downed power lines. Only power company crews or their contractors should remove trees or limbs touching power lines.
- Keep away from the immediate areas where crews are working. There is always the danger of moving equipment and the possibility of construction materials or limbs or overhead wires falling to the ground.
- If you plan on using a generator for temporary power, get a licensed electrician and disconnect from the utility electric system before hooking up to your home main electric panel.
- Do not run a generator in a confined space without adequate ventilation.
- Make sure to review gas safety tips.
- Don’t use candles or other flammable devices to warm your home.
- Check on seniors, who can be particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures.
- Try to stay off the roads. More traffic in bad weather leads to more accidents, including more injuries and fatalities as well as accidents that can damage electrical poles and other equipment, creating outages and impeding crews’ ability to access and repair damage and slowing restoration.
Whether an outage is caused directly by the temperatures, the ice accumulation or something else like a downed pole, restoration becomes more complex in an extreme cold weather event because of the different way customers are restored once any needed repairs are made. There are certain steps electric utilities must take to ensure power is restored safely and reliably, and there are steps customers can take to help as well. The weather predicted to affect some of the Entergy utility service areas starting Tuesday could bring not only extreme cold, but the challenge of ice accumulation, too.
“We use a methodical and calculated process in bringing customers back online after an outage in very cold weather,” explained Dawsey. “We have recently had some outages that were specifically weather-related, for example when winds blew debris onto lines or damaged electrical equipment, and other scattered outages across the state for a variety of reasons. But what our customers may notice is that if an outage occurs, regardless of the cause, restoration follows a different process during extreme cold weather events.
“Rather than simply energizing an entire power line all at once, we are forced to bring customers back online one section at a time to avoid damage to our system and make the situation worse.”
Customers experiencing an outage during times of extreme cold should turn off their electric heating systems, lights and appliances during the outage and then, after power has been restored, turn them back on one at a time, over a period of time to help avoid a sudden power surge. For example, if you have an electric heating system, start by setting your thermostat to 65 degrees, then slowly raise it over time, rather than setting it immediately to a higher setting.
Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than approximately 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.