BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Utility companies are now upgrading their infrastructure to ensure a stronger grid after Hurricane Ida.
AT&T has already started burying more fiber-optic lines and Entergy is now replacing hundreds of poles in the Capital Area. Both faced serious public pressure to improve their systems after Hurricane Ida wiped out a large portion of their customers.
“We’re always improving the grid,” said David Freese with Entergy. “We’re also going to be incorporating smart devices onto the electrical system.”
Entergy is replacing 130 poles and 150 spans of power lines along Highland Road. This will impact nearly 3,000 customers in the area. Entergy said these new upgrades can quickly restore power after daily faults like fallen tree limbs or a tripped breaker.
Hurricane Ida also ripped Louisiana residents from cell service. AT&T is now burying fiber-optic on poles across some of the hardest-hit areas during Hurricane Ida.
“We learn from every disaster event and make enhancements, and we are doing the same here. This critical project is the beginning of our work to apply constructive learnings from the impacts of Hurricane Ida,” said President AT&T Southeast States Sonia Perez.
Both Entergy and AT&T said the project’s goal is to be more reliable during minor and major natural disasters.
“We’re doing everything we can at AT&T to remain our infrastructure resilient like the people of Louisiana,” said Perez.
The Entergy project should be completed in late December. Freese warns EBR Parish residents that the project will cause traffic along Highland Road and Bluebonnet.