According to a press release from Entergy Senior Communication Specialist Allison Payne, the action for periodic outages is being directed by reliability coordinator Midcontinent Independent System Operator. A prolonged outage caused by Hurricane Laura could reportedly affect the reliability of the power grid.
"The unusual circumstance is the result of extensive damage to Entergy’s transmission system caused by Hurricane Laura in East Texas and West Louisiana and the anticipated high demand for electricity due to high temperatures," the press release said.
DeAnn Walker, chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, said in a press release that system stability takes additional balancing following a major storm.
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said in a Facebook post that the county is working with Entergy to gather more information at this time.
"If this line were to fail—all of Texas Entergy customers would be without power," Keough wrote. "The brownouts will take place until integrity is restored."
At this time, Entergy is asking customers in the western area north of Houston to voluntarily reduce their power usage. The press release suggests the following ways to lower power usage.
- Raise the central air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees. Window units should be adjusted accordingly.
- Use energy efficient electric ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air and help occupants feel cooler.
- Close window blinds, drapes and curtains to reduce warming in the home from direct sunlight.
- Check the air conditioner filter to be sure it is clean.
- Delay laundering clothes, washing dishes, bathing, etc. until later in the evening or early morning. These activities produce moisture and increase humidity in the house, making the air conditioner work harder.
- Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and resist the temptation to open the oven door while baking.
- Do not allow cooled air to escape from the home. Check caulking around doors and windows. Close the fireplace damper. Fill holes and gaps where wiring and pipes enter the house.
- Make sure your clothes dryer and attic are vented properly.
Entergy customers can check the outage map to see areas that are being affected by outages.