Madison Parish was still under a layer of ice, shrouded by a thick haze of fog, Saturday morning. But, a forecast calling for temperatures to reach the lower sixties by Sunday promises to bring a much-needed thaw to local streets.
In the meantime, City of Tallulah workers are navigating downed tree limbs and power lines while working to repair more than 100 identified water leaks citywide.
Friday night, officials with the city announced water service would be restored across town temporarily, with plans to continue allowing service for several hours at a time daily until repairs to broken lines can be made. The most recent announcement has water service slated to be restored today (Sat., Feb. 20) from 4 until 8 p.m., in order to allow residents access as ongoing work is done to the system.
Officials also held a free water giveaway Friday at the Tallulah Community Center, with plans to announce a second round of water distribution forthcoming.
Statewide, Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging Louisianians most affected by the week's winter weather to continue conserving electricity, specifically today between 7 and 10 p.m. as crews continue to work in central and north Louisiana to restore electrical service. Edwards said conservation measures can include turning down the thermostat and putting off running dishwashers and washing machines, adding the efforts will combine to help avoid rolling blackouts - or intentional suspension of electrical service in order to avoid a crash of the overall grid.
Utilities overwhelmed by demand sometimes deliberately institute temporary blackouts, known as “rolling blackouts” or “load shedding,” to conserve power and prevent a catastrophic system failure. The MIDCONTINENT INDEPENDENT SYSTEM OPERATOR, a regional coordinator in 15 states and one Canadian province, directed Entergy Louisiana to cut the power in Lake Charles for that reason, Entergy said.
"The biggest issue with those [rolling blackouts] was the fact that there just wasn’t advance notification,” Edwards said, adding the decisions are not made locally and communication has improved.
“We’re not accustomed to these extreme winter weather events,” Edwards said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”