AT&T bringing generators to restore service; utilities continue working outages
Almost 85% of AT&T's wireless cell sites in Louisiana affected by Hurricane Isaac are now operational, the communications company confirms this afternoon. AT&T is deploying about 1,700 generators to cell sites and wire-line switching nodes to restore communication services while electrical power remains out in affected areas. In addition, AT&T says technicians from other states are arriving to bring the total workforce to 2,000 in the state. Later today, AT&T says it will deploy mobile retail vehicles to heavily impacted areas and provide free phone calls for customers, as well as electricity for powering up cell phones. The vehicles will have batteries and accessories available for purchase. In the meantime, Entergy, which provides the bulk of power to East Baton Rouge Parish, was unavailable this afternoon to provide an update on how many customers in the Capital Region were still without electricity. Earlier today, Entergy's regional customer service manager, Sheila Pounders says 74,400 customers remained without power as of this afternoon, about 10,000 fewer than this morning. Working the outages big to small, Pounders says, Entergy is repairing major feeder backbones before moving to residential areas affected by downed power lines and busted transformers. Also, Entergy is working to restore power to emergency services—hospitals, law enforcement, first responders—as a top priority. DEMCO had about 55,000 customers without power as of this morning and is also working to restore power today. See Entergy's outage map here, and DEMCO's outage map here. —Adam Pearson
Editor's note: This story has been changed since its original publication.
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