Tulane SoPA alumna aides Entergy in post-Ida power restoration
Residents returning to the New Orleans area following their evacuation from Hurricane Ida may have encountered one of many caravans of utility trucks heading into the city to assist local linemen.
Abigail Michel, an alumna of the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) and a member of the Recent Alumni Council, played an integral role in the logistics of organizing those linemen as they arrived to help return power to parts of Mississippi and Louisiana.
“I wish that everyone could see how hard Entergy crews and even the executives were working immediately after the storm to get things up and running. It was really impressive.”
— Abigail Michel, Tulane SoPA alumna
As part of the company’s ride-out team, Michel was one of three people tasked with organizing and tracking crews of linemen who drove in from other states to help combat the widespread power outages that occurred.
“Linemen drove in from all over the country,” said Michel. “When the linemen reached a certain distance outside of our area, the crew lead would call me and I would input their location into our system. Another member of our team would then assign them to the next location where crews were needed.”
Michel, a Robotics Process Automation Developer for Entergy, reported to the company’s Remote Operations Center as others left the storm’s path.
“We had more (electrical) poles down for Hurricane Ida than we had during hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Delta, and Zeta combined,” said Michel, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and a minor in Emergency and Security Studies from SoPA. “Crews came in from as far as California to help speed up our restoration efforts.”
Though it was Michel’s first experience helping Entergy through a major hurricane, she was able to pull from the experience she gained during her time at SoPA including an internship with Tulane University Emergency Management.
“For people waiting for electricity, I know that it must have felt like a long time,” said Michel. “I wish that everyone could see how hard Entergy crews and even the executives were working immediately after the storm to get things up and running. It was really impressive.”