Entergy crews work Saturday morning on down power lines caused be Friday night thunderstorms. (American Press)
Last Modified: Sunday, July 22, 2012 7:18 PM
A series of powerful thunderstorms that passed through the area Friday and Saturday left as many as 16,000 residents without power.
Entergy officials said most customers will have their power restored by Sunday, although isolated cases may not be able to be resolved until Monday.
The storms damaged one of Entergy’s high-voltage transmission lines and damaged the distribution system.
The town of Iowa, La., and south Lake Charles were among the hardest-hit areas. Crews have identified 20 broken poles and more than 50 spans of wire down throughout Southwest Louisiana.
Restoration crews have been working as safely and as quickly as possible to restore power to the area, and will continue to do so throughout the night, an Entergy representative said on Saturday. Additional restoration crews, both company and contractor, have been brought in today to assist with the restoration effort.
Entergy reminds customers to stay safe as storms continue to move through the area. If lines are dangling or have fallen, customers should stay away from them because they might be energized. They also should call Entergy at 1-800-9OUTAGE.
Entergy also wants to remind customers to stay a safe distance away from active work sites and to avoid interfering with restoration workers.
The city of Lake Charles and Calcasieu Parish opened a cooling station for residents without power Saturday night at the Purple Heart Recreation Center, 4305 Avenue H, just off of Legion Street by Chennault Airport. The station provided water and relief from high temperatures during the power outages. The Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps provided supplies and the Lake Charles City Marshal’s Office provided security. The station will reopen at 8 a.m. today.
The Lake Charles Police Department lost electricity and phone service at about 8 p.m. Friday night. Power was initially restored, but went out again after 9 p.m., and remained out until 8 a.m. Saturday.
A backup generator failed Friday night and was being repaired by the supplier Saturday afternoon, according to Deputy Chief Mark Kraus. Calls to the police department were rerouted to 911 or the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
A generator for the department’s radio dispatching service did work.
Winds blew a large retractable door off its hinges on the north end of the Lake Charles Civic Center. The opening allowed wind to blow down part of the stage during the dress rehearsal for the annual “Gridiron 40” show, produced by the Ad and Press Club of Southwest Louisiana. The show was halted near its end and did not resume. Kraus said the only injury report received by the department was from the Civic Center, but it was not believed to be serious.
Sgt. James Anderson of the Louisiana State Police said the troop received reports of downed trees, but no weather-related accidents or injuries.
American Red Cross volunteers spent the day assessing damage to homes in the Prien Lake area.
Resident can call the Red Cross at (337) 478-5122 to report damage to their homes. Callers are asked to leave a detailed message with their address.
National Weather Service observing program leader Todd Mogged said 2.33 inches of rain fell at Lake Charles Regional Airport on Saturday, with a peak wind recording of 48 miles per hour. On Friday, 0.79 inches of rain fell, with a top wind gust of 49 miles per hour.
There is 50 percent chance of rain today and 30 percent tonight and Monday.
Posted By: Robert C Rettke On: 7/22/2012
Title: Some may be without power until Monday
It's unfortunate that we have above-ground utility lines running through or near trees. With the kind of windy rainstorms we have in SW LA, it's just asking for trouble.