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Extreme heat prompts Entergy to cancel planned outages in New Orleans

18 pre-planned outages were canceled this week due to high temperatures.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Entergy cancels its pre-planned outages in New Orleans because of extreme heat and the dangers it brings to work crews and residents.

Many residents in New Orleans were frustrated to learn their power would be out for six hours on Monday, June 20th, while daytime temperatures soar into the upper 90s.

It came as a shock when Entergy notified them the power would be out from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for necessary repairs.

“That’s too long. Especially for those who have infants in the house and pets. It’s uncalled for. It’s no need for it. We’re suffering enough with the weather being as hot as it is now. So an outage is just totally out of the question,” said Uptown resident Troylynn Merritt. Her neighborhood was scheduled to have an outage this week.

Entergy had 18 planned outages for upgrades and repairs the week of June 20th. The outages would have impacted customers in the Uptown and Mid-City neighborhoods.

On Monday (June 20) and Tuesday (June 21), a total of 865 customers would have been affected by the outages during the hottest temperatures of the week.

“Why now? Are you serious? During the middle of a heat wave?” said Jessie Booten, Uptown resident. “I’m happy to have done it over the winter and the fall but why did it have to be scheduled right now. It’s June in New Orleans.”

Because of the dangerous heat, Entergy decided to cancel the work.

“We’re being very cognizant of the situation and we will just need to reschedule to finish the work at a different time,” said John Hawkins, Jr., Vice President of Reliability for Entergy Louisiana.

Hawkins said the work is expected to resume next week on June 27th, and with the heat in mind, he said they’re focused on getting the work done in a manner that is safe for everyone, especially during hurricane season.

“We’ve made some adjustments. We’re bringing crews in earlier in the day,” said Hawkins. “We have a lot of daylight at 6 in the morning. So we’re trying to start outages earlier so we can be finished by noon. Noon is generally that crest when things start to heat up so we’re trying to finish the work then.”

Residents said they were relieved of the cancellation, but are hoping for more advanced notice of the next planned outage.

“We are totally for having the infrastructure fixed. We understand it needs maintenance. We want that to happen. But we don’t want it to happen with less than a week’s notice in the middle of a huge heat wave,” said Booten.

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office said the City of New Orleans does not have any designated cooling centers for residents. Anyone seeking shelter during the daytime to escape the heat can visit any of the New Orleans public libraries, as well as several community centers.

While we don’t have any specifically designated cooling centers at this time, residents seeking shelter during the daytime may visit the following locations:

  • All New Orleans Public Library locations are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the following exceptions:
  • Nix is closed for Capital Projects
  • Alvar only has contactless pick up at this time
  • All locations will be closed Monday, June 20 in commemoration of Juneteenth
  • Arthur Monday Community Center is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (1111 Newton St., Suite 101, New Orleans, LA 70114)
  • Allie Mae Williams Multi-Service Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.(2020 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113)
  • Andrew P. Sanchez Multi-Service Center is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 pm (1616 Fats Domino Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117)
  • For the homeless population, Ozanam Inn has a cooling area from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily (2239 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70119)

Hawkins said anyone with outage or utility concerns can call Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY (368-3749). He also suggests customers download the Entergy app in the app store to receive the latest information on customer usage and restoration.

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