HOUSTON – January 28, 2009 – More than 160 CenterPoint Energy electric linemen and support personnel, as well as numerous tree trimming contractors from Houston are heading to Arkansas today to help Entergy restore power to tens of thousands of their customers without power due to a major winter storm.
“CenterPoint Energy not only distributes natural gas to 3.2 million customers in six states including Arkansas, we are also the electric transmission and distribution utility in the Greater Houston area,” said Walter Bryant, region vice president of Gas Operations in Arkansas. “Coming to the aid of other utilities is nothing new to CenterPoint Energy line crews. We partner with other utilities in mutual assistance agreements to lend a hand to each other if requested during widespread outage emergencies such as hurricanes or ice storms. Over the years, CenterPoint Energy crews have restored power to hundreds of thousands of customers across the country left in the dark following severe weather.
“Following Hurricane Ike, CenterPoint Energy received assistance from 11,000 tree trimmers and linemen from 35 states and Canada to restore power to more than 2.1 million customers who lost electric service following Ike’s landfall,” Bryant added.
The Texas Gulf Coast CenterPoint Energy crews will arrive in Little Rock today and will receive work assignments from Entergy. According to Cornelius Fisher, CenterPoint Energy operations supervisor, “We plan to work 12-16 hour days removing toppled trees and tree limbs off power lines, replacing downed power poles, power lines and transformers and restoring power. It’s gratifying to see the lights and heat coming back on.”
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total over $19 billion. With about 8,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.