TANGIPAHOA PARISH- For more than two days, the sound of a porch chime at the McCrossen's home in Bedico was drowned out by their generator.
The power had been knocked out during Friday's snow emergency, which according to Entergy, was affecting 33,000 customers across Tangipahoa Parish.
"We were very fortunate we didn't have any problem because of the in house generator," said Patty McCrossen, "But the neighbors, they had to scrounge up gas, they had to keep the generator running 24 hours a day for heat because it was very cold."
Residents say the Entergy outages along Byers Road and Firetower Road varied from a few hours to as many as four days.
Entergy said, at the time, the primary cause for all of the outages was "snow-covered tree limbs from outside our rights of way coming into contact with or falling into our power lines." The company said power to all customers on Byers Road was restored by Sunday night. In a statement, the company said "repairing this type of widespread damage is challenging because it is labor-intensive and time-consuming work that restores a relatively small number of customers at a time."
But some residents say they had a hard time believing the reasoning behind their outage because their own searches turned up nothing.
"I think what it is is that they're making a lot of assumptions based on technological data and not actually sending someone out to look at the problem," said Don Marshall, who is also a resident in Bedico, but serves as the area's Constable too.
But an Entergy spokesman said in a statement, "on Byers Road in Ponchatoula we had wires down in three different locations, causing outages that affected 77 customers. Two of the locations were off road, could not be accessed by equipment, and required crews to climb the poles to replace the wires. In one of those locations on the north end of the road, a large tree brought down multiple spans of wire in the woods past the creek bridge. We removed the tree and repaired the lines. Another large tree fell on a line in the woods at the north end of Byers Road. The third instance involved a wire down at Byers Road and Byers Lane."
However, people say they've had more problems with outages and Entergy than just the snow day.
"We do have sporadic power shortages, I guess is the best way to say it, where the lights will dim or click off and on," said Marshall, "It happens a lot."
Some people suspect the fast growth of the area is putting a strain on the system's capacity.
Entergy says it is gathering additional information from customers in that area to address any concerns they may have. However, the company says it is currently building a substation in the area that will improve reliability, as well as increase capacity, to bring more power into the area.
Residents say while they understand emergencies, and appreciate all the hard work to make repairs during them, they just want reliable infrastructure and information about it.
"Honesty goes a long way," said Marshall.
The criticism comes a day after Entergy acknowledged an error with its initial assessment of the cause of a large power outage in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes this week. Originally, the company said a field burning near a transmission line was to blame. But a statement on Entergy Louisiana's Facebook page later said, "After further investigation, indications are equipment failure on the transmission line was the likely cause of Tuesday’s outage in Lafourche, Terrebonne and Assumption parishes. We apologize for any confusion caused by our initial assessment. The damaged equipment has been repaired."
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