UPDATE (12:15 p.m.): Utility companies continue work to restore power, one bridge remains closed
Entergy restoring power, Jennings to Lafayette is hardest hit
Utility crews from Entergy's Louisiana Utilities are restoring electricity in the wake of a winter weather system that moved through the state last night.
At 9 a.m., approximately 3,250 customers were without power across the state. The Lafayette to Jennings area is the hardest-hit area with 2,300 outages.
Some 150 restoration workers are on the ground in the Acadiana area and additional Entergy crews were deployed to the Lafayette area last night in anticipation of the arrival of the winter weather system. While road and bridge closures remain in effect in the Lafayette areas and are slowing transit, crews are working as safely and quickly as possible to restore power to affected customers.
Entergy's Louisiana Utilitess estimates that most customers will be restored by late tonight, while outages in areas with more extensive damage will carry over into tomorrow.
Customers are urged to call 1-800-OUTAGE (1-800 968-8243) toll free to report any outages or downed power lines. Storm preparedness tips and much more information is available at Entergy's website at entergy.com.
Cleco continues repairs
Cleco crews have restored power to thousands of customers now, but electric lines in central and south central Louisiana remain icy as temperatures hover around the freezing mark.
"We were hoping for an earlier thaw to help prevent additional power outages, but it appears that is not the case today," said Anthony Bunting, vice president of customer service and energy delivery.
The utility company is currently redirecting crews to the hardest hit areas where new outages are occurring hourly. "Progress is slow when we restore one line only to have another broken by falling tree limbs," Bunting said. "Of course, safety is first, and we hope everyone is cautious of the ice as well as the damage it can cause. Every time you leave your home, check again for downed lines, and call Cleco if you see one."
Cleco says it has approximately 800 line mechanics, tree trimmers, contractors and support staff working to restore power to about 15,682 customers statewide. Customers are urged to report sagging or downed lines to Cleco at 1-800-622-6537.
Acadia Parish is down to only 176 homes without power with the highest concentration of them in the Eunice area.
Roads slowly opening, temperatures slowly rising
After last night's icy storms several road closures in Acadia Parish were forced but only one closure remains.
In both directions, U.S. Highway 90 between Roy Road and DJ Gueno, near Estherwood, remains closed. The area was closed just before 5 a.m. this morning.
The Pontoon Bridge in Estherwood and John N. John Bridge in Crowley also have been opened.
Elsewhere, I-10 between Baton Rouge and Lake Charles has also been opened.