Both Entergy and Beauregard Electric announced Wednesday that fewer than 1 percent of their Calcasieu Parish customers remain without power.
Cable TV and internet giant Suddenlink was unable to report the same success. Robbie Lee, Suddenlink’s vice president for the Midsouth region, reported at a news conference Wednesday that, to date, service has been restored to about 25 percent, or about 11,200 customers in Calcasieu Parish. On Sept. 17, the company reported that 9 percent of their customers in Calcasieu Parish – approximately 4,000 accounts – had been restored.
Last week Suddenlink CEO Dexter Goei estimated that service would be restored to 50 percent of their Calcasieu customers within two weeks and an additional 20 percent would be restored every two weeks after that.
“This means that we expect to be as close to fully restored as possible by mid-November,” said Lee. He reitereated that the damage to the company's infrastructure was so severe it will require a “nearly full rebuild of our network.” He said Suddenlink has more than 800 miles of “plan,” which include several different types of cable.
Lee again asked that other utility companies exercise care when working near Suddenlink cables. “We still face issues with repaired fiber being repeatedly cut by other workers in the region,” he said. “If there's a line hanging from a pole, it shouldn't be touched ... it shouldn't be cut.”
Suddenlink is currently working on the transport routes from Lake Charles to Sulphur and Lake Charles to Iowa, which Lee calls, “a key milestone to our restoration.”
Margaret Harris, a representative with Entergy, said that, beginning Thursday, the company is entering the restoration phase that requires customers to obtain an inspection of their electrical equipment before they will connect to it. The requirement begins Thursday. She asks that customers call Entergy after a qualified person has made repairs for them at 866-557-4240 or 1-800-Entergy.
The need for additional workers will continue through November as the company works to improve the resiliency of its system, which includes additional transmission repairs, lines restored and hardening of the system.
Harris said a team was deployed this week to make crucial street light repairs. She noted there have been a number of short term outages as the result of debris removal crews coming in contact or knocking down lines. “Speed is not everything,” she stressed.
Harris said the company is aware that there are residents in temporary housing and offices. She said their electrical needs will be addressed, but that the Entergy focuses first on their current customers.