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How We Respond to an Outage after a Storm

Following a storm, restoration efforts proceed in an orderly manner, beginning at the source and working outward.

  1. Assess Damage

    First When the storm passes, Entergy personnel must assess damage to electric equipment and facilities to determine corrective actions.

  2. Power Plant

    Second Power plants, the primary source of power production, are restored.

  3. Transmission Lines

    Third Large transmission lines are repaired and restored, delivering power to cities, towns and major industrial facilities.

  4. Substations

    Fourth Substations are brought online and power is restored to emergency services, life support facilities, police and communications networks.

  5. Critical Customers
  6. Neighborhoods

    Fifth Power is restored to areas with the largest number of customers including businesses and neighborhoods.
    Bucket trucks are safe to use when winds fall below 30 mph.

  7. Individual Homes

    Sixth Individual services, often the most time consuming repairs, are restored last.

Damage assessment – finding out how hard the system was hit – must be carried out quickly and accurately when the storm is gone, and Entergy acts aggressively to get it done. Damage assessment scouts are prepared in advance, and they are dispatched immediately after impact to begin the assessment. Backbone feeders, those with major trunk lines that support large electrical loads to customers, get particular attention and must be restored to service as soon as possible. This initial assessment helps develop an estimate of crews required, resources needed and the time estimated to complete restoration.

Following this, scouts are assigned to work directly with storm teams in the field to help provide the detailed assessment and support needed for the restoration.

The Restoration Process

In general, restoration of electrical service to customers proceeds in this fashion*:

  • Large transmission lines receive top priority. Without power available from power plants, all other restoration efforts are useless.
  • Substations must be functioning in order for power to reach local distribution lines.
  • The backbone feeders, carrying the power from the substation to the customers, are next in priority.
  • Emergency services, life support facilities and communications networks (police, hospital, fire stations, media, industry) are restored next.
  • Lines serving large blocks of customers are restored next.
  • Lines serving neighborhoods follow because multiple customers are involved.
  • Individual services are then restored because fewer customers are involved, and, in the case of scattered outages, it often takes more time to get power back on.

* Bucket trucks are safe to use when winds fall below 30 mile per hour.

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