Entergy takes steps to improve service

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 13, 1999

Entergy workers are on a &uot;search and destroy&uot; mission.

The actual name of the effort is Targeted Circuit Reliability Efforts, and Entergy officials say the project is part of preventative maintenance efforts they hope will improve service. The &uot;search and destroy&uot; mission is also part of a $4.2 billion five-year capital improvement plan by Entergy Corp.

&uot;Over the last few months Entergy has really focused its efforts on improving service to customers,&uot; said Forest Persons, customer service manager for Entergy in Natchez. &uot;Search and destroy missions are just one part of this effort.&uot;

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Entergy Mississippi, which serves 400,000 customers in 45 counties, plans to conduct the missions on about 20 percent of its entire network by the end of the year. So far, crews have surveyed circuits on U.S. 61 North and Morgantown Road, Persons said. &uot;We’ve hired new field personnel – the people who are responsible for keeping your lights on,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ve stepped up tree-trimming efforts on more than 4,000 miles of electric lines across Mississippi and have greatly increased pole inspections.&uot;

Crews on the &uot;search and destroy&uot; missions look for things like damaged insulators and switches and replace anything that looks like it could cause a power outage.

Persons said other improvements throughout Mississippi include:

— Doubling spending on reliability improvements.

— Adding 42 linemen, servicemen and trainees.

— Adding 29 staff personnel.

— Increasing customer service staff by 45 percent.

Entergy’s $4.2 billion capital improvement plan could also mean more jobs for Natchez, but Persons said he would have more information on that project next week.