JP president blasts Entergy

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 11:12 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- What Ronald Perkins couldn’t put on the grill or give to his neighbors is now in the belly of Pinky, the Treme homeowner’s pig.

“That’s what I’m barbecuing now. The food that was still cold that was from the freezer,” he said.

Like hundreds of thousands of others, Perkins is living without electricity these days. Power was knocked out in this neighborhood the day Isaac rolled in.

“I feel blessed that we’re still alive, but by the same token we don’t have no power,” said Malcolm Morris, a Treme resident. “I know there’s a lot of places that don’t have light and stuff.”

“The consistent message: 'Where is Entergy?'" said Jefferson Parish President John Young.

Late Friday Jefferson Parish officials held a press conference criticizing current efforts to restore power. Young even called for an investigation and heavy fines against Entergy.

“We were assured that they would be prepared. Unfortunately their assurances have not come to fruition,” Young said.

Entergy says crews from 24 states are working 16 hours shifts and are working around the clock to restore people’s power. The company says it hopes to see a 30 percent improvement Friday night over Thursday.

“We have gotten a lot of talk and we have gotten little action,” Young said.

Despite the scathing criticism of Entergy, Perkins, now on his fourth day without power, know it could be much worse.

“We can’t complain much because after Hurricane Katrina we had nothing. No shelter, no food. But this is not bad. People act like they can’t tolerate it, but they can tolerate it.”

Entergy’s spokesman Philip Allison was on WWL Radio with updated numbers. He said as of 10 p.m., 414,000 people across the state are still without power. Forty-one percent of customers have had power restored since Hurricane Isaac.

Law enforcement officials are saying because a lot of areas are without power, they’re asking people to drive slowly, to drive carefully, to stop at all intersections and to look for downed trees and power lines.

Entergy CEO Bill Mohl issued the following statement:

"We understand the frustration of our customers and elected officials. We realize that many have been without power for a number of days.

"We have dedicated an enormous amount of resources to this restoration effort and have more resources arriving every day. As president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, I take the responsibility to restore electricity to our customers very seriously. I commit to all of our customers that we will continue to do everything possible to speed up this restoration effort while maintaining the safety of our employees, who are doing dangerous work under difficult circumstances. We hope our customers understand that safety trumps speed."

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