BATON ROUGE — As temperatures soar, many are wondering what’s going on with the power-outages and delays in getting the power back. Unfiltered with Kiran asked representatives from both Entergy and DEMCO to provide information on power-outages in the Greater Baton Rouge area.
Statement from Entergy
Power outages can occur for various reasons — severe weather, falling trees and limbs and animal contact, are just a few examples. We know any time without power is too long and take our responsibility of providing reliable power seriously. That is why we are always working to improve the reliability of the electric system by installing new utility poles, powerlines and even smart devices that help minimize the number of customers that are impacted by an outage. You can learn more about what is involved in our reliability work here: entergy.com/reliability/. The Greater Baton Rouge area has been particularly hard hit by severe weather this summer and some outages can occur from damage that is residual in nature. Understanding that storms are becoming more frequent and intense, we recently filed a resilience plan called Entergy Future Ready with our regulator, the Louisiana Public Service Commission. You can learn more about that plan here.
Although the work involved in this plan, if approved, would not happen overnight, we are taking steps to plan for future storms and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to help create a more resilient Louisiana.
DEMCO spoke in-depth with UWK about reasons for outages, and how to prepare for them. DEMCO does not participate in what is commonly known as “brown outs” where they intentionally cut power to preserve energy supplies. There are typically three types of outages: (1) Planned; (2) Right of Way; and (3) Unplanned.
- Planned outage is when DEMCO replaces equipment. DEMCO notifies its members of any planned outage and the allotted time it will take to finish the task. DEMCO will give members at least two days’ notice.
- Right of way work is ongoing. DEMCO trims about 729 miles every year, so DEMCO notifies members that their area will be undergoing trimming or helicopter/aerial trimming. Typically, you don’t know if something is going to fall when they’re trimming, however, DEMCO notifies members of potential outages because of the right of way work.
- Unplanned outages are usually storm, weather, or auto accident related. Auto accidents are typically the reason for unplanned outages. If it is unplanned, members can go to demco.org to look at the outage map. Additionally, if members registered their phone numbers, they will receive a text message about the outage. If members don’t feel comfortable going online, DEMCO provides alternatives such as a free mobile app or members can call the 844-MY-DEMCO.
DEMCO believes that the outages that have occurred this year are not out of the ordinary based on their statistics. DEMCO members have access to a mydemcoportal where members can input their phone number and email address. Once, members submit their information, they will be notified about outages. DEMCO stressed that members should ensure that their information is up to date, so members can ensure they are receiving those notifications. The heat has made power outages even more gruesome than past years, and DEMCO makes sure to notify its members of outages so they can prepare for the heat.
DEMCO encourages members to register on their modem code portal with their e-mail and phone number. This allows members to submit service concerns like their power is fading. Members are also encouraged to check their breaker box or call DEMCO to help you fix the issue.
DEMCO’s Tips for Power Outages in the Heat
If you have an unplanned power outage while it is really hot, you should make a plan to find someone or somewhere that is cool. Try to connect with others to detail a plan to stay with them if the power goes out in your area and vis-versa. Additionally, some people have fans or generators to use when their power goes out. Even during a storm, if you are on life support equipment or you need medicine refrigerated, you should make a plan to keep power on to make sure those machines are operational. Members should always be prepared for an unexpected auto-accident that may make the power go off. It is better to expect the unexpected when planning for power outages.