Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Hundreds of Vidor residents experienced multiple power outages during the coldest weather of the winter this week.
Hundreds of Vidor residents and customers of Entergy Texas experienced multiple power outages during a 36-hour span from Sunday evening through Tuesday morning as the coldest weather of the winter season blasted Southeast Texas with sub-freezing temperatures.
At least four separate outage incidents were reported and impacted hundreds to as many as 2,200 customers on Monday night. Large outages were reported Sunday evening, which affected nearly 1,000 customers, and another on Monday morning which left more than 1,600 customers powerless, some more than three hours.
“Sunday night’s outage was weather related,” said Entergy spokesperson Debi Derrick. “We aren’t sure if Monday’s outage was weather related or an equipment malfunction, but, from what we can tell, a connection overheated and the line came down. It took us some time to get power restored because in cold weather, just like in hot weather, the power load is much bigger, so we bring a section on at a time to prevent more problems.”
Approximately 2,200 customers were without power late into Monday evening with some outages lasting as long as six hours and residents still without power as late as 10 p.m., Monday.
Several hundred Entergy customers awoke to power outages again on Tuesday morning as power loss was reported to many of the same residents at approximately 6 a.m.
“Tuesday morning’s outage was a continuation of the problem from Monday night,” Derrick said.
Entergy customers in Mauriceville experienced an outage as well on Monday as a downed power line impacted the Mayhaw substation and left approximately 1,800 customers in the dark.
Whether an outage is caused directly by the temperatures or something else, restoration becomes more complex because of the different way customers are restored once any needed repairs are made.
“We use a methodical and calculated process in bringing customers back online after an outage in very cold weather like we’re having,” explained Vernon Pierce, customer service vice president, Entergy Texas, Inc., in a statement. “While we have had some outages that were specifically weather-related, what our customers may notice is that if an outage occurs, regardless of the cause, restoration follows a different process. Rather than simply energizing an entire power line all at once, we are forced to bring customers back online one section at a time to avoid damage to our system and make the situation worse.”
Pierce reminds customers that information is available from Entergy online, particularly the View Outages program that shows where power is out and provides information about anticipated restoration times. Customers may also sign up for text messaging from Entergy to keep them up to date on outages that occur at their home or business. Information on these programs and more is available through entergytexas.com.