Entergy: System safe, ready to help Northeast

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2003

NATCHEZ &045;&045; For local Entergy Customer Service Manager Forest Persons, Thursday’s widespread power outage in the Northeast and Midwest brought back memories.

That’s because in 1965, the Northeast was also involved in a massive blackout &045;&045; and Mississippi was involved in shipping excess power to the scene.

&uot;We don’t supply them power directly. But since the eastern part of the U.S. is so interconnected, the closest (electric) company will ship them their excess power,&uot; Persons said. &uot;And what they give to New York, they’ll pick up from the one to the south of them, and so on, … all the way down to us.&uot;

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This time, Persons was watching the situation in the Northeast on television. &uot;They said two plants were down,&uot; Persons said early Thursday evening. &uot;I don’t think they’re suspecting any terrorist activity.&uot;

In any case, the Miss-Lou isn’t subject to terrorist attacks, and Entergy’s plants are so far apart that the system is relatively safe from widespread outages, Persons said.

In addition, Entergy shuts down parts of its power plants in the spring and fall to refuel and make any needed upgrades, making the system more foolproof in peak times like the summer, he said.

And the company just bought another power plant in Monroe, La., adding to its capacity.