Regulators want to know about storm power outage, meeting set for Wednesday
BATON ROUGE - Wednesday, the Public Service Commission will discuss with power suppliers issues associated with the April 27th storm that knocked out power to thousands of people across the region.
In the city of Baton Rouge, some Entergy customers did not get power restored until four days after the storm hit. Twelve hours after the storm hit, more than 30,000 people in East Baton Rouge remained without power. The number dropped each day until the night of Thursday, April 30th, when power was restored to the last remaining homes without electricity just before the month changed to May.
Thousands more, but not as many as in the Capital City, were without power in surrounding parishes, too.
The prolonged power outage closed schools for much of the week.
The PSC said ahead of its meeting, the discussion is typical after a catastrophic power failure and is similar to power talks following disasters such as hurricanes or tropical storms. Weather experts suggested the line of storms that knocked out power and spawned twisters may have been the most significant weather event in the area since Gustav.
Entergy echoed the experts, and said there was no advance warning things would turn bad so quickly.
"The storm was fast moving, producing strong winds intense lightning, heavy rain, and in this case produced five tornadoes. The damage pattern of this storm was significant," Entergy's Sheila Pounders said Tuesday.
Pounders said 176,000 customers in the state lost power and 50 percent had power restored 12 hours later. More than 500 poles were damaged, 331 transformers went down and miles of wiring fell, she added.
"We appreciate our customers patience during major storm events, after each storm we review our processes to find opportunities to improve," Pounders said.
The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Galvez state building.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz