Utility companies encourage customers to prepare ahead of expected weather

New Orleans Prepares For Arctic Blast

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Temperatures are expected to drop in the coming days but not before high winds.

"If the winds pick up, we may have some issues. Just like they were saying 35 mile an hour winds, they were saying that for Olga. The winds were 80 mile an hour winds which is a game changer," said Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative Operations Manager Mike Stafford. "No one even saw that coming."

Stafford says Olga is a recent reminder to expect the unexpected.

"All of our crews are ready. We have contracts with other cooperatives and other contractors they can be here instantly and get the lights back on," Stafford said.

That's also what Cleco and Entergy New Orleans tell us. Both companies say they practice year round for the possibility of outages due to weather or anything else.

"We have people on call every day. That way, if something happens, we have people ready to respond," said Entergy New Orleans Regional Operations Manager Toni Green-Brown.

Green-Brown says residents should also be prepared for colder weather, starting with a blast of arctic air settling in Tuesday into Wednesday. Not only will they save money, they'll also have a better chance of conserving heat if their power goes out.

Cleco's Corporate communications manager says they urge their customers to have a storm kit ready in case of any outages.

Though crews aren’t expecting any issues with freezing rain weighing down or breaking power lines, but Stafford with Washington St. Tammany Electric Cooperative says they’d ready for that, too.

“It doesn’t happen hardly any in Southeast Louisiana. It has happened but it’s mainly an issue up North,” Stafford said.

If you’re a member of the cooperative, you can report any outages and leave comments through the Smart Hub app.

For more tips on how to winterize your home and save money, click here.

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