As New Orleanians Sit in Dark, Entergy Demands Online Payments

As ov
er 700,000 homes in metro New Orleans sat in the dark on Thursday, Entergy posted the following message on their website.

“Something that is impacting all Entergy customers, not just those affected by the storm, is that the devastation from Hurricane Ida is causing delays in receiving and processing payments sent to Entergy via USPS and other mail courier services. We encourage all customers to make digital payments online to ensure payments are received and applied timely. Visit for convenient digital payment options to avoid paying for postage, incurring late fees, or experiencing service disruption.”

The note about payment was in the middle of a news update post on Entergy’s site in which they reported that, as of the posting, 179,000 customers had had power restored. They report that 26,000 linemen are working at getting New Orleans back in the green on the outage map.

The site also reports, “Distribution system damage in Louisiana and Mississippi at 1 p.m. included 10,212 poles, 13,297 spans of wire, and 2,223 transformers damaged or destroyed. With the damage assessment for transmission approximately 90% complete, we have identified 155 destroyed transmission structures and 245 structures and spans that were damaged. This compares to 1,459 transmission structures destroyed and 450 damaged during Hurricane Laura in 2020.”

A time estimate for power restoration could not be determined, as of Thursday evening.

On the heels of Hurricane Ida in which people are evacuated from their homes or worse, living in their homes suffering in heat that is frequently in the ’90s, with “feels like” temperatures in the lower hundreds, Entergy is demanding digital payments. Cell phone service has been spotty, gas is hard to obtain, and keeping devices charged is challenging. For Entergy to even mention payments during this stressful time is questionable.

This is the second year in a row that Entergy New Orleans’ power lines suffered at the hands of a hurricane. During Hurricane Zeta, last October, much of the city was without electricity for nearly a week. Entergy needs to show the citizens of New Orleans that they can depend on electricity in an emergency.

Tensions are already high- we live in a hurricane-prone city with questionable infrastructure. Rather than demanding digital payments four days after one of the worst hurricanes in New Orleans’ history, Entergy should be working to build a system that can withstand strong winds At the very least, build a system that can be quickly and sufficiently repaired. Literally- people’s lives are depending on it.


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