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Neighborhood tired of frequent power outages, calls on power company to do better

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WATSON - Some people in one Livingston Parish neighborhood are just waiting for the power to go out. Outages in Audubon Lakes occur often, whether it's a nice day, a windy day, or a stormy one.

The outages are so frequent, Steven Forrester says there's no rhyme or reason why it happens. He contacted 2 On Your Side for help.

"It's something about our subdivision when it rains," he said.

Forrester moved into the Watson community a year ago. Since 2017, he says his neighbors have logged at least 30 power outages in Audubon Lakes. Some last an hour, others much longer.

"It can be an hour. It can be six hours," he said.

The power went out twice last week, and one of those outages was on a sunny day. It went out again Tuesday morning during a rain event.

"Last week it was limb on the line, blown transformer, blown fuse. It depends on who you talk to," he said.

The sound of a generator hums in his backyard powering what it can. He bought it last summer during hurricane season and has used it quite a few times since. The generator powers two fridges and freezers, wifi and his work computer.

At this point, Forrester expects the power to go out anytime there's talk of the weather.

"When weather moves through, you know you're losing power at some point," he said.

Entergy tells 2 On Your Side that many of the recent power outages affecting the Audubon Lakes subdivision have been related to inclement weather. But it's taking the responsibility of providing reliable power to customers seriously. Entergy is taking a two-tiered approach to investigate and address the issues in Audubon Lakes.

First, it's actively been trimming trees around the circuit that feeds power to Audubon Lakes, and that work is ongoing. Second, Entergy's operation and engineering teams are reviewing the design of the electric system in this area and determining if there are any feasible adjustments or modifications that can be made to further improve service reliability.

Tuesday, Entergy had the power restored in Audubon Lakes by 2 p.m. It was the neighborhood's fourth power outage so far this year, and the 200 homeowners in the subdivision say they've had enough.

"Everyone's irritated because the only option is you live without power or spend $10,000 and buy a Generac. That's not a feasible option either," Forrester said.

Forrester doesn't think he should have to spend that kind of money to have power and is calling on Entergy to find a solution.


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