Storm dumps hail, takes off roof, causes scattered outages

The overnight thunderstorms that blew through the Baton Rouge area, dumping hail in some areas and damaging the roof of an apartment complex, left scattered power outages throughout the city on Monday.

Entergy’s online outage map showed many small pockets of customers without power — in many cases only one to five customers affected — but there were also larger clusters of power outages such as 84 customers in Melrose Place, north of Florida Boulevard and East of North Foster Drive; more than 160 customers east of Lobdell, between Goodwood Boulevard and Old Hammond Highway; and pockets of 56, 101 and 143 in the neighborhoods on either side of Lee Drive between Perkins Road and Highland Roads.

Will Johnson, Entergy spokesman, who said he couldn’t provide a total number of customers without power, referred customers to the website for accurate, up-to-date information.

“Our crews are working to restore power as quickly as possible,” Entergy said on the website. “At this time, we expect to have all service restored by 6 p.m. The estimated time of restoration could change as all damage assessments are completed or if new thunderstorms move into the area.”

Shawn O’Neil, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Slidell, doesn’t expect more thunderstorms today.

“The clouds will stick around, but the rains are done, probably done for a while,” he said. “We will be pretty nice through the rest of this week.”

Don’t expect much in the way of the rain again until late into next weekend, he said, “Maybe late on Sunday and into Monday.”

While the overnight storms dumped rain and made noise through much of the night, the worst came before midnight.

Between 11:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Sunday night, there were reports of hail — in some cases golf ball sized — and heavy winds.

“The biggest issues we had were around the Baton Rouge area,” O’Neil said. “We had golf ball-sized hail in Central. We had up to golf ball-sized hail in Watson which is in Livingston Parish, and then at the intersection of Little John and Florida Avenue (in Baton Rouge) there was some damage to an apartment complex. It looks like the roof may have blown off or at least part of a roof blew off.”

Johnson said Entergy is hopeful that many customers will get power restored much earlier than anticipate.

“We have been able to get some in before 6 p.m. and we think there is a chance we could get some more in, but 6 is the time we are giving and we are confident we will have most of our customers restored by 6 p.m.,” he said.