Entergy Louisiana has issued an update on its progress toward restoring power to communities hit hard by this week's winter storms.
"Our Entergy Louisiana crews and contractors are making great progress in central and north Louisiana after a second winter storm brought freezing rain and ice and knocked out power to thousands," the company said in a prepared statement. "At one point, approximately 40,000 customers were without power in the central and northern regions of the state. At 2 p.m. Friday, crews had brought that number down to approximately 27,000. It is important to note that outage numbers can fluctuate depending on progress in the field and whether additional outages occur as limbs and trees can give way days after a storm has passed. Preliminary reports from the field indicate that this could be a multi-day restoration in the hardest-hit areas, especially those areas south of I-20."
Entergy officials said thousands of workers have been dispatched the areas impacted by the storms.
"We have a restoration workforce of approximately 4,000, including line workers, tree trimmers, scouts and support personnel, assessing damages and restoring power where it is safe to do so," the statements reads. "We are facing a couple challenges, though: While warmer temperatures have created more favorable conditions today, they are expected to decrease below freezing again tonight, meaning ice that melted today could freeze again and make driving conditions hazardous tomorrow as well. Also, moisture adsorbed by trees may freeze up again and cause additional limbs to break and fall into our electric equipment. And because of the extremely cold temperatures, crews are oftentimes having to bring customers online in phases rather than all at once to avoid damaging the electric system through instantaneous demand. While all of that can slow restoration, we have boots on the ground and buckets in the air, and our crews will continue working quickly, but above all, as safely as possible to restore power to our communities."