NEW ORLEANS — Imagine going out to pick up lunch at a local restaurant, and when you get inside you hear a loud boom.
Then you go back outside to find your car crushed.
That’s what happened in Kenner after one person says she gave Entergy warnings.
The new pole is up, and the power has been restored, but we have the video to show you exactly what happened last week here on Loyola Drive outside of Kenner Seafood.
Thursday was a busy day inside of Kenner Seafood as they prepared, and filled up with the usual 200 customers every day, including a waiting line. And that's what it was like last week when all of a sudden, there was a loud boom and the restaurant went dark.
“They didn't know. I mean, they were like you can't make it up. I mean, like you can't believe it. Like you know like, this just doesn't happen and like, but it did,” said Kenner Seafood owner Trudy Alexander.
She is talking about two men you can see getting out of their company car on surveillance. They were coming in to pick up a big order for a corporate event. Trudy says for a couple of years, she has been calling Entergy at least three times, maybe more, to warn them that storms had caused the power pole to dangerously lean.
“The pole kept leaning more and more. Called them again. ‘Ma'am, we can't come out until the pole actually falls.’ Well, the pole fell,” Alexander recounts her phone calls.
Surveillance video shows the pole falling. It was right in the peak of lunch hour. The car was crushed, with the pole, transformers, and wires on top of it. Kenner police had to shut down Loyola Drive. No one was allowed in or out of the restaurant for fear of live wires. They were inside in the dark, in the heat with no AC.
“People couldn't leave the building to go back to work. People couldn't get in the building. They had the streets blocked off. They had the yellow tape all around the building,” Alexander adds.
It was a big hit to the business as well. More than $1,000 worth of shrimp, oysters, soft shell crabs were lost to the heat. Trudy didn't charge all the patrons in the middle of lunch. Food prep and takeout orders had to stop, and so did the video poker machines. A dozen employees were still on payroll for the entire day. With a new pole installed, the power came back on at 8:45 that night. It's been a week and two days, and she still has not heard from Entergy.
“Thank God both of the guys had come in, and luckily nobody was in it and got killed.”
Entergy Louisana released the following statement: We are aware of the situation and are working closely with local officials to determine the circumstances under which the pole fell. Once we receive those findings we will work through our own internal investigation to ensure appropriate steps were taken before, during and after the incident. We encourage customers to reach out to us at 1-800-ENTERGY if they have concerns regarding our infrastructure. We take all matters regarding safety as our number one priority. It’s not our policy to wait until a leaning pole falls to take appropriate action, whether that be repair or replacement. Any payments would be incumbent upon the conclusion of the investigation.
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