A representative from Entergy appeared before Shenandoah City Council on July 10 in order to address an increasing number of power outages across the city.
Entergy Engineering Supervisor Troy DeBeaumont said a variety of factors have increased the number of interruptions to Shenandoah and The Woodlands by 49% from last year, including vegetation, lightning strikes, animal-related incidents and public damage.
Among the bigger issues, according to DeBeaumont, was a large substation transformer in Oak Ridge North failing. To address the issue, a mobile substation was brought in and has been in use until a new transformer comes in from the manufacturer.
DeBeaumont said Entergy is making efforts to address the issues, such as putting in animal deterrents and clearing vegetation from around power lines.
"We're also in the process of building a new substation transformer off of [Hwy. 242] and I-45 that will feed into this area," DeBeaumont said. "That will reduce the exposure any customer may see."
To address public damage, which has reportedly been caused primarily by the installment of 5G wireless network providers, DeBeaumont said Entergy is creating a joint task force to attempt to levy fines for contractors with the incorrect permits for boring into the ground.
Council Member Ronald Raymaker said the constant outages have been affecting property values for homeowners in the city and wondered why there are not more underground facilities throughout Shenandoah.
Area residents expressed frustration with the increasing number of outages and said they have had to invest in generators due to the occurrences.
Mayor Ritch Wheeler said the city will continue to work with Entergy to address the issues, but stressed he would like to see an updated underground grid and would like additional details on how to make it happen.