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    Notes from Entergy's 1 p.m. Press Conference

    5:32 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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    Notes from Entergy Arkansas Friday 1 p.m. Press Conference

    From Hugh McDonald, Entergy CEO:

    - As of 1 p.m. ... 106,000 remain without power in Arkansas, close to halfway done (40%) .... Long way to go.

    - Expect to make significant progress today (Fri)

    - We have just under 5,000 utility workers:
    ... 4,000 of them are on site right now
    ... The next 1,000 will be in tonight (Fri)
    ... 2,700 of actual linemen, the others are support personnel
    ... They are coming from 15 different states

    - Crews are working in the most damaged areas ... Little Rock, Hot Springs, Malvern.

    - Made motifications to view onlie outage system, provides more detail

    ... Developing work plans each day, can view online where crews are working each day
    ... Wanted to provide additional level of customer service to customers online

  • Read More: Using Entergy's Newly-Updated Website
  • - Logistics effort that helps linemen get power back on

    - Occasionally we restore power to an area, and find other issues. In that case, we have to turn power on, then off, then back on.

    - Safety is the most important priority for us, and our customers and contractors.

    - If there are down power lines, stay away from them. Call 1-800-9-OUTAGE

    - "We want to remind folks to stay a safe distance from work site."

    - Thanked "response partners" that are coming to Arkansas

    - Thanked customers

    External Entergy Outage Link:

    http://viewoutage.entergy.com/ar.aspx

    Questions

    Why is this outage so bad?
    This was a significant storm. A light coating of ice plus 8-10 inches of snow, causing the problems. We have a significant tree-trimming budget. We expect when we have storm of this magnitude, you're going to have significant outage.

    How did you plot out where you would make first repairs?
    We had contractors across the state help, not just from Little Rock. Where the damage is, we certainly prorate the contractors and utility workers based on the damage we see.

    Do you have an estimate of damage cost?
    Haven't made estimates. We're still be in the tens of millions of dollars.

    Was there enough money in the Entergy budget to trim trees?
    We've had a pretty stable budget for tree-trimming, it's probably increased in the last couple of years.

    What's the new prediction on when the large amount of state will get power?
    We're still saying the 7 days. A lot will come on by Sunday, but the most extreme and most remote will be on in that 7 or 8 day window.

    Can you talk about prioritizing who gets power restored?
    There is a normal process to restore - major faciliities: hospitals, fire, water, those get first. Look at damage to transition system, make sure it is fixed ... it feeds substations. Then you work out from substation to distribution system.

    Are there specific neigborhoods or areas in LR that will take the longest?
    We finished damage assessment - engineers, support personnel walk back yards and determine what jobs need to be done. We'll get a better idea of where that lies tonight. I expect, just from what I've seen, areas in the Heights, Cammack Village that are pretty tough, Fox Croft pretty tough too.

    Why aren't you providing information to customers?
    We believe we're providing a lot of information. The fact that we're getting lights on in other places, doesn't mean we're not working in Little Rock. We should've made that more clear.

    What have you learned from this?

    We'll certainly do a complete "lessons learned" ... like we do with every storm. It's too early to say now if we could do anything different. I'd like to have had people here quicker. But given the facts at the time, we thought we would have had more people.

    Was that a budgeting issue?
    It's never really a budget issue. It's a matter of getting lights on quicker.

    What would you say to the people who are frustrated and still without power?
    We're doing everything we can to get your lights on at your location as quickly as possible.

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