Letter to the Editor: Why the Plague of Power Outages?

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What is it with the frequent electrical power outages in Natchitoches? When I lived in New Orleans or Gretna, I could go years without experiencing a power outage. But ever since we moved here in early 2006, they have been a regular occurrence.

I can only speak as a resident of the area south of the hospital but I’m sure this is a problem in a much wider area. A few days ago, around dark, our power went out three or four times. It would go out for 30 minutes or so, come back on and go out again

The other night, sometime after 2 a.m. the power went out again and didn’t come back on until around 6 a.m. or later. I woke up not getting any air from my CPAP machine for my sleep apnea, and had to sleep for four hours without it, which is rough on my old body.

This problem does not seem dependent on the weather. We lose power on fine sunny days as well as on stormy ones. A few years ago our neighbors were a young family from Canada and they were astonished by the regularity with which the power went out.

There’s no excuse for this, not in 2018. I’m sometimes, honestly, dismayed by the negative tone of comments made on situations in this town. But in this case, somebody needs to be held accountable. I pay my electric bill as soon as I get it. So, come on, city of Natchitoches, fix this. I’m really getting tired of resetting my electric clocks all the time.

Joe Darby
Natchitoches, Louisiana


20 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Why the Plague of Power Outages?

  1. I can see I made a mistake when I mentioned New Orleans. Some folks apparently thought I was comparing my previous place of residence here and found Natchitoches lacking. That was not the case at all. I was just trying to point out that I hadn’t experienced such frequent power outages, no matter where I lived. Hey, folks, I love Natchitoches. I chose to retire here 12 years ago and I gladly pay my taxes here and spend my pension here. I was surprised at the hostility of some of the comments. No harm meant.

    • No need to apologize, you’re right. I’ve lived other places and Natchitoches does lose power more than any place I know of. Maybe there are logical reasons, but that doesn’t change the facts.

      Maybe they spend too much on silly fireworks and not enough on basic infrastructure. Wouldn’t surprise me if another such fireworks display isn’t soon.

  2. I live in the West side of the parish and it could be all the Meth heads
    stealing copper from the lines for drug money.

  3. It’s a possibility that where you lived before and other areas you had under ground lines. We that’s something we have. I can see with lines underground never have the disruptions we do. Also it depends on what “section” yours comes from. Our home is feed power from Campti station I believe and I’m in north Natchitoches. Lights go out here it could be numerous things that we have no clue. We will be out but our couple neighbors will still be on because they are feed from another power “station”. It is just a fact of life here and that’s fine with me. It’s not like it’s done on purpose or to be mean. I’m sure the lineman would rather be at home with their family than out at all hours or weather. And sir if there is a part or broken piece to replace it takes a minutes to get the personal to the part, get the part to the broken area and replace it. It maybe in the middle of the woods or who knows where. I wish it was just as easy as flipping a switch but it’s not. I know this isn’t the norm in bigger cities but we’re not a bigger city. I love our quant home town here and if power outage is one of the cons, I can live with that. And no like others I will not suggest you go back to the bigger city or anything else rude. All the positive things here, to me, outweigh what I consider negative. Look around this country and world folks. I feel blessed to live in our little town of Natchitoches with all of you. Be blessed and be a blessing to someone else.

  4. Since when did people arrive at the unrealistic expectation of uninterrupted electric service? If you don’t like power outages or you’re that dependent on the service get yourself a standby generator or contract with your electricity provider for uninterruptible service. My guess is you’ll stop complaining and realize the value of the service you have. Reliability costs money and the utility company has no control whatsoever of motorists running into poles, squirrels and snakes getting into the equipment. By the way one way to increase reliability is to trim trees on the rights of way but I’m pretty sure most wouldn’t care for trimming any of the trees around town. So damned if you do damned if you don’t.

  5. To Mr. Darby: Go back where you came from if you don’t like it here. New Orleans may supply you with electricity 24/7, if you don’t get shot first. Nobody is holding you back.

  6. Would someone tell me how is a “high ranking city official” gonna stop people from running over a pole….?

  7. everyone knows with winter here now is the time to bring your
    charcoal grills inside to heat your house,it will work wonders and you won’t
    be cold long.

  8. They were weather and driver related….the city does not get up in the morning trying to figure out how to make our lives miserable…the make money by selling electricity not by not. I say thanks to the folks that
    get out in all kinds of weather to repair broken poles and such. Get over it… get a generator if its that critical to your needs.

  9. Guess what. At the end of the day, no one cares. You can’t supply your own electricity, so you will put up with the outages. Move out of town. Entergy is 1000 times better!

  10. As I read your comments I have a thought or two of my own.
    Yes, it’s inconvenient when power goes out, when you can’t pay your bill on-line and I too am on CPAP. BUT, how about a few of you consider the men are out in the 42 degree weather working to get your power back on. The men are doing what few want to do these days…they do what it takes to get a job done. Equipment gets old and yes at times failures occur. The prices…I’d hate to pay the prices of Shreveport or other areas and yes they have outages too. I guess what I am trying to say is we all have an opinion, and my opinion only matters to me. BUT, I choose to thank the men and women for a job they did that I didn’t have to do and I look forward to the City of Lights that we all enjoy during a beautiful Christmas Season!

    • To Monalane and Jim T. I am also very grateful for the workers who get out there in bad, cold, rainy weather. I’m certainly not blaming the workers for anything. It’s just that the power losses occur so often, year after year. The high ranking city officials should have taken action to prevent this long ago.

  11. I live in the same area. From 2:00AM-6:AM without any heat in 42 degree weather was no fun at all. I couldn’t help but wonder about the elderly and small children, and how they were getting along. Things happen to cause outages, but if parts are kept on-hand for repairs; 4 hours is an extremely long time during cold temperatures especially.

  12. I hear you . I live in a small Village in western part of the parish
    and we constantly lose power on clear days it is beyond crazy and with the water bills they just make up any charge they want too.

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