Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Landrieu criticizes lack of communication from Entergy during blackout

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 6:23 PM

In a City Hall press conference this afternoon, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said that while he doesn't know whether the company's on-the-ground response to massive, days-long power outages following Hurricane Isaac's landfall was faulty, he did not think Entergy did a good enough job getting information to its affected customers.

"My assessment is frustration that they could have communicated better," Landrieu said. "I think that's pretty obvious."

Landrieu commended New Orleans City Council for taking the first step toward opening an inquiry into the utility's restoration efforts. In a special utility committee meeting Wednesday, council members voted unanimously to move resolution that would initiate the investigation. Council is scheduled to take a final vote during tomorrow's regular meeting.

Charles Rice, CEO of Entergy New Orleans, came to the meeting late following announcements today that Entergy Corp. Chairman and CEO Wayne Leonard plans to retire and Bill Mohl, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States will be reassigned.

Asked by WWL-TV reporter David Hammer whether the shakeup had anything to do with the Isaac response, Rice called the question "ludicrous."

Entergy Corp. today filed an application (49-page PDF) with the Louisiana Public Service Commission seeking approval of its plan to sell nearly 16,000 miles of transmission lines to ITC Holdings Corp. Meanwhile, WDSU reports that the commission is "prepar(ing) to move forward with an investigation into the performance of local utilities following the landfall of Hurricane Isaac."

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