3,000 lose power Thursday

Published 12:04 am Friday, December 23, 2011

ROD GUAJARDO/The Natchez Democrat — A Highlands Construction Company employee works with Entergy to change a transmission line that was damaged Thursday.

NATCHEZ — A broken 115,000 volt transmission line left approximately 3,000 residential and commercial Entergy residents with no power Thursday morning.

Tim Runnels, Entergy customer service manager in Natchez, said the transmission line at the Johns Manville substation on Liberty Road broke at approximately 7:30 a.m.

Runnels said he believed the cause was weather-related, but wouldn’t be certain until the damage had been inspected thoroughly.

“A lot of times with weather like this, it will be caused by lightning or it could just be that or equipment went out,” Runnels said. “The customers have power again, so it’s not an immediate issue to us right now.”

Entergy employees worked all day to switch and reroute downed lines to other switches at various substations in the Natchez area, Runnels said.

Contractors from Highlands Construction Company arrived at the substation Thursday afternoon to begin repairing the broken transmission line.

First to receive attention this morning were Natchez Regional Medical Center and Natchez Community Hospital, which regained full power at approximately 9:30 a.m.

Runnels said the main residential areas to lose power were Seargent S. Prentiss Drive and Duncan Park areas, but that most areas regained power at 10:48 a.m.

With plenty of substations in the area from which to pull power, Runnels said the severe weather is only a factor if there is major damage.

“Anytime you have equipment like that, you have to be ready for anything,” Runnels said.

Approximately 50 Southwest Mississippi Electric Power residents also lost power, but it was not related to the substation.

Stephanie Knotts, secretary to the general manager, said the issue was weather-related and that all customers regained power by noon.