OPINION

What did our Governor say?

Mackenzie LeBlanc

As an 11-year-old student, even I can comprehend the govenor’s sarcasasm when he commented that Entergy’s performance following the recent storms was UNACCEPTABLE.  Governor Jindal, my comments to you are:

1. Did you consider the large number of people who were out of power as a result of these storms?  This was not going to be a quick fix.

2. Did you consider the number of people that Entergy employs, and the fact that they had to call upon retired staff, as well as professionals from states to get the job done?

3. Did you consider the fact that these professionals left their families in the dark, too, just to be able to restore Louisiana’s power?

According to Entergy’s records, over 800,000 people were out of power in Louisiana as a result of the recent storms. That number is equivalent to the amount of fan mail received by Mickey Mouse in 1933.  It’s also equivalent to the number of senior citizens who give up their driving privileges per year.  A little more research shows that this number, 800,000, is a little less than the square mileage of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  That’s a lot of territory! (Betcha didn’t know those facts, Governor Jindal.)

Entergy employs 1100 distribution staffers throughout Louisiana. This fact brings me to my next point. In order to make this huge number of repairs on any given day, this number of staff members would have taken approximately 6 months to complete the job.  But, due to the wise management of Entergy, they knew that they, alone, could not accomplish this difficult goal.  To help, they called upon their retirees, people who had already given so much to the company.  Without hesitation, these retired staffers left their homes to help relight Louisiana—within weeks, not months.

My grandfather, Stephen Rousseau (Donaldsonville), was one of them.  He left my grandmother alone---to remove debris and to maintain generator power for 13 days, so that he and his peers could bring light to the darkness in our state.  Do you have any idea what an emotional toll this process took on us?  Entergy workers and outside personnel left their families and missed first days of school for their kids, wives birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and the comforts of their own homes.  Is helping your neighbor unacceptable?  I think not.  These men and women worked very hard to help our community. 

As an 11-year-old who you would think would be interested in her I-pod and television programs, I am currently more interested in your negative comments about Entergy’s performance.  How can you say that Entergy’s work was unacceptable when these workers (both local and from out of town) worked so hard, for so long to restore electricity in OUR Louisiana?  Being away from your home and family, working 16-hour days, having unfamiliar and uncomfortable shelter, not to mention the number of mosquitoes that were feasting on our out-of-town guests--now that is what is unacceptable!   Governor Jindal, I ask you to come out of the dark.  Let’s not be negative.  Entergy and their out-of-town helpers should be applauded for a job well done!