Entergy customers experience outages during planned maintenance

Published 5:31 pm Thursday, July 1, 2021

NATCHEZ — Planned power outages have occurred in a neighborhood just north of Duncan Park over the last couple of weeks while Entergy crews work to update lines, Entergy spokesman Tim Runnels said.

The temporary outages have occurred on an off again, some of them lasting only a few hours and some taking up an entire day. Most of the affected customers are in the 500 Block of Park Place, Runnells said. Other affected streets include Cherry and Walnut streets, Duncan and Auburn Avenue, Winchester Road and Magnolia Place, he said.

Runnels said customers who would lose power due to maintenance were notified in advance so they could prepare as much as possible.

“We’re notifying customers by our automatic call system and we try to communicate with them the best we can to let them know this would take place,” he said. “I realize that doesn’t help much during the hot summer. I know it has been an inconvenience and we appreciate our customers patience.”

One such outage occurred in the neighborhood of Winchester Road on Thursday.

Nearly 80 Entergy customers lost power just before 9 a.m., leaving some without power in the hot summer weather. Entergy’s website stated “reliability maintenance and upgrades are underway” in the area. Power was fully restored there by Friday morning.

Erica Brown-Tanner, a school teacher who lives on Magnolia Street, said her power finally came back on just before 9 p.m. Thursday after 12 hours without power — the longest outage for her neighborhood during the scheduled maintenance, she said. Tanner said her house lost power three times in the last three weeks. The first was the shortest outage and lasted from approximately 8 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. and the second lasted until 6 p.m., she said.

Each time she was notified via text message that her power would go out. However, the start time and length of the outage was never made clear, she said.

“Thursday is was particularly bad,” she said. “They said the time it would be back on is going to be 8:30 p.m. and then they sent another message that said 2:30 a.m. … I understand that they’ve got work that has to be done. … My husband and I are lucky that we have parents who live in town and we have a place where we can go.

“It was so hot in the house that we were sweating. I wonder if there is a better way for them to do it. This is the second time that our food spoiled. Some people had to go out to get hotel rooms and there is a lady in our neighborhood on oxygen who had to sit in her car to run her oxygen machine.”

Tanner said she called Entergy to see if they would credit her bill for costs associated with the outages and they would not.

The planned outages are a necessary part of the work to upgrade high voltages lines by replacing the existing copper wire with aluminum while also replacing cross arms and insulators to improve Entergy’s service to the customers in that area, Runnels said.

Runnels said contractors are nearing the end of the maintenance work and Wednesday should be the “fourth and final” planned outage to get the work done. The planned timeframe for the outage Wednesday is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., he said adding the power may not go out for that entire period of time.