Louisiana power companies ask for conservation to avoid blackouts during polar vortex
Gov. John Bel Edwards said all Louisiana power companies are asking customers to conserve electricity to avoid rolling blackouts during a polar vortex that has invaded the state with the coldest temperatures in decades.
"There are unprecedented demands being placed on the systems," Edwards said of the of the power grids during a Monday evening Zoom press conference.
More than 100,000 Louisiana homes and businesses were without power because of storm-related outages, but Entergy Louisiana said current load forecasts are approaching an all-time peak for those still on the grid.
The deep freeze and accompanying ice and snow have contributed to hundreds of vehicle accidents — State Police alone has responded to 150 wrecks — and one fatality after a 50-year-old Carencro man slipped on ice and suffered a fatal head injury.
"It's extremely dangerous," Edwards said.
And there's more to come.
Edwards said another system bringing freezing rain, ice and snow is expected to enter Louisiana Wednesday near Shreveport.
"By Friday this winter weather event will be over, but it's just Monday," he said.
The governor declared a state of emergency last week ahead of the storm.
Some parish authorities like Lafayette Parish President Josh Guillory have issued stay-at-home orders or curfews.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.