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Entergy utilities mobilizing to deal with Marco, Laura storms

New Orleans-based utility Entergy is preparing for the strong possibility of not one, but two tropical storms or hurricanes slamming into the Louisiana coast in quick succession.

Energy’s Louisiana companies are at the ready as Hurricane Marco rolls toward the Gulf Coast. Right behind it, Tropical Storm Laura is ravaging the Caribbean and may prove to be worse than Marco, according to weather forecasters.

Though it may be too soon to determine the exact location, timing and magnitude of these storms, customers are encouraged to continue monitoring local weather alerts, have a plan in place and be storm ready, Entergy said in a Sunday press release.

Due to additional measures that must be taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the potential for impact from back-to-back storms, customers should prepare for extended restoration times, especially if there are widespread outages.

A storm team of approximately 3,400, including Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans crews, contractors and support personnel, is being assembled to restore power and gas services quickly and safely to customers should outages occur. In addition, the companies have moved equipment that sits in low-lying areas to higher ground and flood protections are in place for equipment in other areas that could see high water.

High-water vehicles and drones have also been secured should they be needed during any restoration efforts.

“Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura, combined with the pandemic, create a potential triple threat to Louisiana,” said John Hawkins, vice president of Entergy distribution operations for Louisiana. “This has been an unprecedented year for everyone, but I’m confident we have the resources and manpower necessary to successfully respond to what is another unique set of challenges. We urge everyone to have plans in place and be storm ready. We will get through this together.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, crews will continue to practice social distancing while in the field, and Entergy is asking that customers do the same. If there is a need to report a service problem, customers should call 1-800-ENTERGY.

The company also will post updates to its social media accounts.

Entergy New Orleans, LLC is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 200,000 customers and natural gas to more than 108,000 customers.

Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to more than 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. It has operations in southern, central and northern Louisiana.

Both companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.