NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Isaac knocked out power to more than 769,000 Entergy utility customers Thursday as the slow-moving storm continued wreaking havoc on its path through Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.
At its peak early Thursday morning, Isaac left 769,458 customers without power, making it the fourth-most damaging storm in Entergy history in terms of outages. The only storms with larger customer impacts have been Katrina with 1.1 million affected customers, Gustav with 964,000 and Rita with 800,000.
A storm team of more than 12,000 began restoring power early Thursday morning, working to overcome significant challenges from flooding and downed trees blocking access to storm-damaged areas. In addition, road closures and heavy traffic are making it difficult to move crews to where damage is heaviest.
By 4 p.m. Entergy had restored power to approximately 97,000 customers."Isaac stuck around longer than anyone wanted and continues to cause significant challenges as we work to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible," said Greg Grillo, Entergy's incident storm commander. "We planned for the worst, and despite the initial obstacles, our team of more than 12,000 is hard at work repairing damage and getting the lights back on for our customers as safely and quickly as possible. Our crews will work 16 hours every day until we restore power to all of our customers who can take power." As of 4 p.m. Thursday, a total of 30 transmission substations were out in Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition, the number of damaged transmission lines included one in Entergy Arkansas, 13 in Entergy Mississippi, 34 in Entergy Louisiana, three in Entergy New Orleans and 12 in Entergy Gulf States Louisiana. No Entergy fossil or nuclear power plants were damaged by the storm, and employees at Entergy's Waterford 3 nuclear power plant began preparing to restart the plant Thursday afternoon. The plant, located 25 miles from New Orleans, was safely shut down Tuesday in advance of Isaac's landfall. 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, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees. SOURCE Entergy