Blown Transformer Causes Power Outage for 13,000 New Orleans Utility Customers

November 02, 2018

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

For about an hour Tuesday afternoon, nearly 13,000 Entergy utility customers in New Orleans had to wonder how long they would be without power. 

The outage turned out to be the result of a failed transformer, which crews were able to repair quickly, and power was back for most customers within an hour despite original estimated closer to 5:00pm.  The outage caused traffic lights to go out, making travel hazardous, and impacted businesses were unable to operate, including some that were in the small group of some 2,00 customers that experienced longer outages – though Entergy was quick to respond to their inquiries as well, including staying on top of social media to keep customers informed.

Above and beyond the short disruption to conduct business, companies run an additional risk when power goes out:  damage to the technology that is core to their operational capacity.  Power outages – and even surges without outages – can cause damage to circuits in critical systems on which businesses are dependent, causing them to fail and knocking businesses offline, potentially for much longer than the duration of an outage. 

Repairs to or replacement of servers, routers, switches, storage devices, and other technology is not only costly, but can take time – including identifying necessary repairs, getting the appropriate replacements, installing and configuring them, and making sure systems are operating normally again.  The downtime can reach days or even weeks in some cases – depending on availability of equipment and technicians.

But, businesses can effectively eliminate the risk of damage and disruption from outages by installing power protection systems that are designed to insulate systems from any line voltage irregularities.  Similarly, UPS systems can provide backup power that allows systems to be shut down properly to avoid damage or data loss – and extended runtime UPS options can keep systems operational during outages to keep critical systems online.

Power outages are a nuisance whenever they occur, but businesses can limit them to short-lived inconveniences by including appropriate power protection systems in their budgets.  It’s a much better alternative to the risk of blown systems and lost data.

Edited by Erik Linask