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Entergy Representatives Meet With Public Over Frequent Outages; Pledge To Make Improvements

Residents in Grand Point, Paulina, Convent and other areas of the east bank gathered at Paulina Park on Tuesday and met with officials with Entergy over frequent power outages that have plagued the area for a year and a half.

Also, several of these outages, and subsequent power surges that follow when power is restored, have damaged generators, household appliances and other electrical devices of those affected.

Entergy’s Senior Regional Manager Dennis Lytle, Regional Customer Service Manager Al Galindo, and St. James/St. John Parish Customer Service Manager Rhonda Colar attended the meeting and all three committed to addressing the issue that has caused more than 90 power outages in the area since 2019.

Mr. Lytle told the crowd that since 2019 there have been 93 outages of more than one minute and that there has been five major outages in 2020 (four of which happened last month in August).

Lytle said the problem centers around a “recloser”, which is an automated device installed on the feeder line and designed to isolate outages when they occur so every customer does not lose power all at once. The device also reintroduces power to the line in timed increments following an outage, which is where the power surges are probably occurring if the device was not working properly.

The crowd was told that the recloser had been updated in the past, was recently bypassed to prevent further outages, and that it was actually replaced on Tuesday and will be in service later this week.

“Y’all are absolutely right,” Lytle said to the crowd of 40 or more. “We own it and we want to fix it. We will take care of business.”

Entergy also said they would like to meet with those affected in roughly 60-days to get feedback and to see if the problem was resolved.

The crowd was also told to report to Entergy all damages incurred due to the outages and that Entergy said they will work to make each customer whole.

Lytle also said Entergy has approved a maintenance plan for the area where poles will be inspected and replaced if needed, and that the entire feeder line will be inspected. He called it the company’s “Find it and fix it” program.

Lastly, Lytle said Hurricane Laura in Southwest Louisiana has forced Entergy to redirect many of their resources to restore power to those affected by the storm so the maintainance will be delayed for some time.

The crowd thanked Entergy for showing up and addressing the concerns and for committing to make the necessary improvements to prevent these frequent outages from happening in the future.

News Examiner-Enterprise

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