“Storm Ready 2010” featured:
• A mini-staging area to show how restoration workers from around the country are housed and fed.
• A safety demonstration to show what happens when everyday objects come into contact with an energized power line.
• A hands-on 3D model to show how power is restored from the power plant to customers’ homes after a storm.
• An exhibit showing Entergy’s Storm Center website, including the View Outages feature. The exhibit also featured Entergy’s outage texting service, which can text information to a cell phone, and My Account Online, the companies’ online account management service.
“Preparing for hurricane season or major storms is an ongoing process for Entergy,” said Renae Conley, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. “Entergy’s employees are among the nation’s best at restoring power after hurricanes or other major weather events. Our employees know that being storm-ready is key to a safe and quick response for our customers.”
To prepare for the 2010 hurricane season, the utility companies have:
• Enhanced storm-restoration models to provide quicker assessments and restoration times.
• Are on track to complete more than 3,500 miles of vegetation management before June 1. Approximately 5,800 miles of vegetation management will be completed this year.
• Used infrared to inspect major lines in order to detect potential problems before they occur. An emphasis was placed on lines serving hospitals and major response facilities.
• Conducted proactive inspections of primary lines to identify potential problems and perform preventative maintenance.
• Installed “switching” devices in strategic areas. These devices can reroute power flow, helping to reduce outage length for customers.
• Installed a new technology called a “fault location tool” on more than 80 major feeder lines that can help pinpoint damage locations for faster restoration. The device sends a message to Entergy’s Distribution Operations Center, notifying the company of potential issues (such as a tree limb on a power line). This allows crews to be dispatched directly to the damaged area for faster restoration.
A featured speaker at Monday’s event was Barry Keim, the Louisiana state climatologist and professor in the LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology. Keim discussed projections of how the 2010 hurricane season might impact Louisiana. Joseph Suhayda of LSU’s Hurricane Center spoke on how the state prepares for hurricane season and the role the Hurricane Center plays.
At the conference, Renae Conley reviewed how the companies prepare for and respond to storms and emphasized the importance of customer and employee safety. Randy Helmick, vice president of energy delivery and Entergy’s storm incident commander, gave an overview of how Entergy coordinates efforts to restore power and how the utilities recruit, house and coordinate the work of tens of thousands of restoration workers who assist Entergy after major storms.