September 17, 2012

Outage Communication during Hurricane Isaac

Cleanup work continues after Hurricane Isaac, which first made landfall in southeastern Louisiana late on August 28. The large, slow-moving Category 1 storm caused widespread damage across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas and Arkansas.

Despite its wind speed rating as a Category 1 storm, Isaac produced storm surge more typical of a Category 3 storm. Its slow speed allowed it to dump more rain on New Orleans and the surrounding area than Hurricane Katrina. According to The Times-Picayune, the National Hurricane Center is working on ways to clarify threat forecasts in light of public misunderstanding about Isaac’s danger.

Providing outage communications during Hurricane Isaac

Notifi was busy during Isaac, delivering more than 1.5 million text messages to utility customers as the storm moved across the US, including about 400,000 account-specific power outage transactions. Alongside these proactive alerts, our Storm Center outage maps were also a key element of outage communications for utilities such as Entergy.

Below, we’ve collected a number of references to Storm Center outage maps made by customers and news media tracking Hurricane Isaac and its aftermath over the past week.

 

  • An informative report on Isaac’s aftermath on NPR’s news blog The Two-Way included a link to the live outage map on the Entergy website.
  • WWNO, New Orleans NPR affiliate, embedded a link to Entergy’s outage map on their website to provide access to their listeners, and it made their list of “Most Active Stories.”
  • Gambit, a New Orleans alternative newspaper, posted a screenshot of the outage map to Twitter on August 28th. The image, taken at the peak of the storm, was introduced as “For the memory books.”
  • Ryan Smith, an infographic artist for The Times-Picayune, posted a screenshot of the outage map to Twitter on August 30th to help others stay up to date on the storm outages.

Outages and Restoration

Entergy recently released outage numbers from the storm as a great infographic on the Entergy.com home page.

They experienced a peak of 769,000 outages, of which they restored 99% in 6 days, by September 4th. Restoration efforts since September 4th have been affected by high winds and floodwater that has been slow to recede, especially in Louisiana’s Plaquemines parish.

Have you seen any unique mentions of iFactor solutions or other innovative outage communications recently? We’d love to hear about them – add your comments below!