Entergy prepares for blast of winter weather

Company is preparing for the worst, hoping for the best

 Entergy Mississippi, Inc. is preparing for the possibility of power outages over the next couple of days that could be caused by accumulation of wet, heavy snow on power lines, utility poles and tree limbs.

The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a winter storm warning for heavy snow from 6 p.m. this evening until 2 p.m. Friday. According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest snow will fall between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. and could result in dangerous travel conditions.

Heavy, wet snow has the potential to pose a significant threat to an electric system. Although the forecast doesn’t appear to be for a major winter storm, Entergy Mississippi is leaving nothing to chance. Company officials said today that they are making sure that crews are prepared if the state experiences bad weather.

“We’ve been monitoring weather forecasts throughout the week and are preparing accordingly,” said Kenny Goza,  customer account manager for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. in Brookhaven. “We model anticipated damage and stock up on needed materials, ready our trucks for driving on snow and ice, organize the manpower and arrange for food and lodging for the crews.

“It’s an enormous undertaking, but part of the job. We plan for the worst while we hope for the best.”

When planning which work will be done first, following a storm, Entergy Mississippi places top priority on restoring service to facilities that would be considered critical infrastructure, such as hospitals, fire stations, police departments and other public facilities. After critical infrastructure has been restored to the degree possible, the objective is to do the work that will get the largest numbers of customers on the most quickly.

Entergy Mississippi urges all customers with a power outage to report it by calling 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800 968-8243). Storm preparedness tips and much more information is available at Entergy’s Web site at entergy.com

Other online services available are “My Account Anywhere” and “View Outages.” My Account Anywhere lets customers send and receive text information about power outages through their cell phones. Customers can also receive alerts about outages at their homes and businesses. To use the service, customers must register a cell phone number to their Entergy account.

Registration is simple. From any text-capable cell phone, send the message “reg” (without quotes) to 368374. The system will respond and ask for an Entergy account number and ZIP code. Anyone with Internet access can go to Entergy.com., click on “View Outages” and see where outages are occurring down to the street level.

The following tips should be helpful for individuals in the path of a winter storm:

* Live wires can be deadly. Stay away from downed power lines.

* Don’t trim trees or remove debris on or near downed power lines. Only power company crews or their contractors should remove trees or limbs touching power lines.

* Keep away from metal fences and other objects that can become energized if they come in contact with downed power lines.

* Keep away from the immediate areas where crews are working. Stay away from heavy utility equipment. Beware of the possibility of construction materials or limbs or overhead wires falling to the ground.

* If you plan on using a generator for temporary power, get a licensed electrician to set up the connection and disconnect from the utility electric system before hooking up to your home main electric panel.

* Do not run a generator in a confined space without adequate ventilation.

Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 433,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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