WST, Entergy preparing for winter storm

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Washington St. Tammany Electric, Cooperative and Entergy continue to monitor the winter weather.

Officials said WSTE crews and dispatch are prepared and will be available around the clock to restore electricity as quickly and safely as possible should the projected winter storm cause outages.

Report all outages to 1-866-672-9773.

Entergy has also been preparing.

“The impact of ice storms is very difficult to predict, but forecasts indicate the approaching weather system could be one of the most challenging the region has seen in years. Power outage restoration may extend into three to five days for some customers, depending on the severity of the damage. Ice storms can pose a significant threat to an electric system, and extreme cold weather can present additional challenges and require a different – and often slower – restoration process,” said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of customer service for Entergy’s Louisiana utilities. “We’re leaving nothing to chance. We are assembling a team of more than 2,100 restoration workers, some currently working in this area and the remainder being deployed to south Louisiana tonight and tomorrow morning in anticipation of ice related outages.”

Entergy urges customers to monitor the weather and prepare to implement their own winter storm plans. Customers are encouraged to download Entergy’s mobile app to access outage maps and information. In addition, storm-preparedness tips and online services are available to customers through “Entergy Storm Center.”

Call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243) to report downed or dangling power lines, poles or other damaged equipment.

Entergy said 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.