Insights > Entergy is Prepared to Mobilize a Storm Team of More than 4,000 to Respond to Hurricane Zeta
Entergy is Prepared to Mobilize a Storm Team of More than 4,000 to Respond to Hurricane Zeta
Hurricane Zeta is predicted to make landfall Wednesday evening south of New Orleans as a strong Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane.
High winds, tidal surges, isolated tornadoes and inland heavy rainfall are expected across southeastern Louisiana into southern Mississippi, with the main threats being isolated tornadoes, occasional to frequent lightning, and damaging winds in the strongest squalls.
Entergy’s utilities are prepared to mobilize a storm team of more than 4,000 employees and contractors to respond to any impacts from Hurricane Zeta. The companies will continue to monitor Zeta and will adjust the location and size of the storm team based on the storm’s size, path and intensity. Ahead of landfall, we’ll continue securing additional resources, but to date have confirmed the following:
- For Mississippi, approximately 270 workers
- For Louisiana, approximately 3,700 workers
Based on historical restoration times, customers in the direct path of a Category 1 hurricane can experience outages up to seven days and outages up to 10 days for a Category 2 hurricane. While 90% of customers will be restored sooner, customers should plan for the possibility of being in the hardest-hit area.
For areas experiencing impacts equivalent to that of a Category 1, customers should prepare to be without power out for up to seven days. Every storm is unique, and once the storm passes, we will keep customers informed regarding restoration efforts.
We continuously learn and improve from storm experiences, including Hurricane Laura that devastated Southwest Louisiana after making landfall Aug. 27 and Hurricane Delta on Oct. 9.
- We demonstrated our restoration ability following these two storms by assembling large restoration workforces to quickly restore power to our customers.
- We are ready to take appropriate action before, during and after severe weather.
- Based on previous storm responses and annual storm exercises, we are constantly updating and improving our operations related to storm damage restoration.
- Operation: Storm Ready is our internal process of continuous planning, preparation and training. And an early step, when facing a storm, is to prepare to bring in extra personnel to support the effort.
- We have worked to storm-harden our system. From aggressive preventive maintenance programs to using steel transmission structures near the coast, elevating substations that might flood and installing “isolation” devices on lines to reduce outages, our goal is always to restore power safely and quickly.
Here’s how we approach things at this stage to restore your power safely and quickly:
- Essential services such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and water systems are at the head of the restoration list, along with our equipment that supplies electricity to large numbers of customers.
- Then we will concentrate our resources on getting the greatest number of customers back the fastest.
- We can’t use our bucket trucks until sustained winds are less than 30 mph, but we can still begin restoring service to customers by closing circuit breakers, rerouting power and other actions.
- You may see trucks, other vehicles and workers lined up while we process them into our system, taking inventory of equipment and personnel and giving a complete safety orientation.
- Repairs begin with major lines to the substations, then to the lines and equipment serving neighborhoods, businesses and homes.
- Service lines to individual homes and businesses will be restored last because fewer customers are involved, and in the case of fewer outages spread over larger areas, it often takes more time to get power back on for them.
- Significant flooding and other accessibility challenges due to the storm will affect our ability to reach some areas of our territory and could delay restoration in those communities.
- When restoration starts, keep in mind that if you don’t see us working near you, we may be working on another part of the electrical system that you can’t see but must be repaired to get power to you.
Following a storm, we deploy scouts to assess damage. It may take up to three days before we know how long until power is restored.
As safety is always the highest of priorities, and as we assess the damage, we’ll begin restoring service where it is deemed safe to do so.
Our employees are our greatest assets; we will keep our workers safe during a storm response.
- Keeping our workers safe from worsening weather conditions may limit our ability to restore service as quickly as we’d all like.
- We are committed to keeping our employees safe and sheltered during dangerous periods caused by high winds, flooding and other severe storm conditions.
- For strong hurricanes, we evacuate from the predicted landfall area, but quickly return as soon as conditions are safe to begin restoration.
- Due to responding to a continual string of major restorations, we are placing extensive focus on guarding our employees from the dangers of fatigue. We stress with workers to treat fatigue as a work hazard.
- Our field workers work a 16-hour day that provide eight hours off to rest and restore.
- We provide our workforce with food and shelter so that they are able to focus on the task at hand.
Responding to a major storm and COVID-19 could affect our response:
- Along with standard storm preparations, Entergy employees are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic by taking additional steps. These include traveling separately when possible, adjusting crew staging locations and increasing the use of drones.
- Due to the additional measures crews must take, restoration may take longer, especially where there are widespread outages. Additionally, crews will continue to practice social distancing and we ask that customers do the same. For their safety and yours, please stay away from work zones.
Facing severe weather can be extremely challenging; we’re committed to minimizing the effects of a bad storm.
- Weather forecasts and computer models based on knowledge from past storms are used to predict the estimated number of customers without power and the number of days needed to restore power.
- Power is restored faster in areas with less damage. Some of the hardest-hit areas may take longer, which should be factored into your personal storm plan. Remember, safety first.
- Once the storm passes, we can fully assess the damage and will have more information to share.
The time to be storm ready is now. Preparation for potential severe weather is vital for us and you, our highly valued customers.
- Above all, stay safe. A personal plan for you and your family is the best way to stay safe and be storm ready.
- Click here for planning tools that can help guide you through the decisions you need to make.
- Whether you shelter in place or evacuate, you should prepare to protect yourself and your home.
- Decide to stay or go well before the storm strikes. If you choose to stay, you should be prepared for the possibility of losing power.
- Basic emergency supplies and a first aid kit are key items to keep on-hand during severe weather.
- Click here in advance for details on how to prepare for hurricanes and other types of storms.
You should stay safe as we restore service outages caused by Hurricane Zeta.
- There is no way to know if a downed line is energized or not, so if you see one, keep your distance and call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Stay safe and away from downed power lines and flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris, since energized and dangerous power lines may not be visible.
- Customers choosing to use portable electric generators should do so in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Customers must never connect a generator directly to a building’s wiring without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from Entergy’s service. Otherwise, it can create a safety hazard for the customer or our linemen working to restore power. And it may damage the generator or the house wiring.
When restoration begins, customers may experience delays when calling our telephone centers, especially from unaffected areas, due to overloading of the system with outage calls. We encourage customers to use these other means to interact with us during restoration:
- Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
- Sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest.
- Visit our View Outages page.
- Follow us on Twitter.com/entergy or Facebook.com/entergy.
- Call us at 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media, like radio, television and newspapers.
We caution customers to be aware of unscrupulous attempts to swindle our customers during Hurricane Zeta recovery.
- Entergy never demands immediate payment from customers over the phone. You shouldn't give your personal information to strangers.
- If a call sounds suspicious, hang-up and call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak directly with an Entergy customer service representative.
- If you believe you are a victim of this scam, notify the proper authorities, such as the local police or the state attorney general's office.