Flooding slows Entergy crews turning on power
Broken poles, damaged transformers, trees on power lines and power lines downed left nearly 30,000 Entergy customers in Orange County without electricity after Tropical Storm Harvey departed.
By 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Entergy had restored service for about 3,000 customers and there were 25,685 Orange County Entergy customers remaining without electricity.
By comparison, 16,191 Jefferson County customers and 10,435 Hardin County customers were without electricity Thursday afternoon.
At 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Orange County faced a total of 29,014 outages.
Progress was made in Orange with four substations being restored along with 15 main power lines that restored service to Walmart in Orange and Bridge City, as well as the Urgent Care Center in Orange.
One substation in Orange lost power because of flooding and three substations remain out because of damaged transmission lines being damaged.
Some areas impacted by the substation outages include downtown, Old Town, Lamar and Front Street, as well as 16th Street.
In Vidor, approximately 3,500 customers lost power Thursday morning when two substations were knocked out by flooding.
High water and blocked roads are significantly hindering assessments and restoration by preventing area workers from reaching customers and essential equipment. Entergy was focusing Thursday on restoration of substations, scouting to assess damage and restoring
power where it is safe to do so.
An additional 51 Entergy workers have been committed to the Orange area, traveling from Lake Charles, Jasper and Woodville.
System-wide, Entergy Texas has restored more than 128,000 outages caused by multiple landfalls Harvey made in the state within the last six days. Nearly 3,200 workers continue to restore significant outages across Southeast Texas.
Crews now face restoring additional outages resulting from Harvey’s landfall as a tropical storm dumped massive rain across the southeast part of the state yesterday.
As of 10 a.m. Thursday, just over 56,000 customers remain without power.
“This kind of historic flooding is a major hurdle as we work to restore service,” said Vernon Pierce, vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas, Inc. “Many areas across southeast Texas are inaccessible due to flooding which is preventing us from quickly and safely restoring power in a timeframe that customers may have come to expect from their experience in previous storms.
“Make no mistake, crews are working as quickly as possible to restore power, but the devastation from the flood is causing unprecedented challenges in restoration efforts.”
Pierce said flooding waters make repair estimates tricky.
“In our experience, it would normally take us about a week to restore outages caused by a tropical storm, like the one that hit the Beaumont-Port Arthur on Tuesday,” he said. “But it could be longer in some areas. Extensive flooding damage is preventing us from estimating a time when we will restore power to all customers at this time.”
Of those without power in Texas, nearly 6,393 customers are without power either because flooding prevents Entergy from accessing their location or their power was disconnected due to safety concerns associated with the high water in their areas.
Customers who experienced flooding to their location can get information on how Entergy restores power to flooded homes on the Entergy website. For the latest on outages and storm information, visit the Entergy Storm Center.