Louisiana utility providers explain winter storm response efforts

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(KLFY) State officials are looking into the power outages that many people faced last week during and after the winter storm.

Some of the power companies are being accused of poor customer service, setting the stage for issuing high utility bills.

News Tens Renee Allen joins us live to explain what happened during a meeting Wednesday morning addressing the power outage issue.

Commissioner Campbell reminded utility providers that outrageously high utility bills for a week of cold weather will not be acceptable.

“You just got a few days here. So before we start giving everybody these big bills lets put it in perspective, it didn’t last three months it didn’t last six months.”

Entergy Louisiana President and CEO says they did not anticipate the low temps to freeze equipment such as transformers and sensors.

“We will go back and review were the insulation was adequate and were the treatments that we placed on those things adequate. We will work to make sure those things don’t happen again.”

The commissioner representing the District of Lafayette Craig Greene expressed dissatisfaction in the customer service.

“If your power is out, reply out. The person replied out and Entergy came back with, are you sure you’re out? Why would they even text or call if they’re not out?”

Commissioner Campbell tagged on with additional concerns.

“I think CLECO is going to be excessive and the gas companies too. I’m going to look at everyone of you guys who got a monopoly. You have a very special privilege in Louisiana, a very special privilege.”

Slemco was also present and reported two peak outages and says the average restoration time was 1.5 hours.

“Thank you very much Slemco, keep up the great work. We didn’t get many complaints from your district.

Entergy says the cost of natural gas and high volume usage is what’s impacted the cost of utilities during the storm.

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