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Entergy finds solution for neighborhood with frequent power outages

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WATSON - There's light at the end of the tunnel for some homeowners in a neighborhood plagued with power outages. It's a solution for them after they called 2 On Your Side.

Last month, WBRZ reported electrical outage issues in Audubon Lakes in Watson. It's a neighborhood with 200 homes that frequently deal with power outages. Last week, Entergy installed a fix that it hopes will put a stop to these frequent power problems.

Steven Forrester says his days have become a little brighter since he hasn't had trouble with his electricity in the last month. That also means he hasn't had to pull out his generator to power the fridge.

Last month, he told 2 On Your Side that his neighborhood has logged at least 30 power outages since 2017. Some of those outages last an hour while others last much longer.

"Some of them were legitimate storms. Some of them were bright, sunny days like today," he said.

Entergy told us then that they would be looking into why those outages were happening and recently delivered on that promise. Entergy says it's completed tree trimming in areas that it has identified as most critical and is continuing to trim trees in the area as part of its regular trimming cycle. Entergy has also identified some opportunities to make improvements to the system by installing two "reclosers" and updating a third in the area.

The "reclosers" sectionalize the grid and help keep power flowing in the event there's an impact on the system, like a tree falling on a line. They act as an automatic circuit breaker.

"It's a lot like if you plugged an old hairdryer into an outlet in your bathroom and that tripped a breaker in the main electric panel in your house. You would physically have to go to that panel and close the open breaker," said David Freese with Entergy Louisiana. "A recloser works similar to that except it automatically recloses. It gives the system an opportunity to keep the lights on without someone having to manually come, you know, flip a switch."

With all the rain last week, Forrester says he pulled out his generator thinking he'd have to use it to power his appliances but ultimately didn't have to because the power stayed on.

"You all got answers for us when no one else would," he said "You all got an answer, and the power stayed on because you all got involved."

Forrester hopes that solution sticks so his neighborhood can stop keeping a tally of their power outages.

"We know how important the reliability of electric service is to our customers and appreciate their patience as we worked to improve the system serving Audubon Lakes," Freese said.

Entergy says it's deploying a bunch of these "recloser" devices across its system in different parts of the state. They will go to places where they'll have the greatest impact.

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