Entergy Corp. and the Foundation for the Mid South have created the Entergy Hurricane Relief Fund for victims of hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The fund will be used to help disaster victims restore their lives in the aftermath of the two storms that swept across Entergy's service territory less than two weeks apart, knocking out power to more than 1.6 million customers and devastating communities from south Louisiana to the upper Texas coast. Entergy Corp. has committed $700,000 to the fund.
"We are heartsick at the losses our communities have suffered," said Curt L. Hebert, executive vice president, external affairs. "Even as we launched a massive power restoration effort, we are equally concerned about reaching out to help our communities rebuild."
Renae Conley, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., said, "This was a devastating storm for the people of Louisiana. Our line crews, and the thousands from around the country who joined them, worked around the clock to restore power to nearly 850,000 customers -- but it was evident that many would need more help getting their lives back together. We are very happy the Entergy Hurricane Relief Fund was created to give additional assistance to local nonprofits that are providing critical services for those who need it most."
Joe Domino, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Texas, Inc., said, "The resilience and tenacity of the people of South Texas are unmatched. Our communities will recover. We are proud to partner with the Foundation for the Mid South and our local agencies in providing a helping hand to our neighbors."
Unlike relief agencies that focus primarily on immediate needs, the Entergy Hurricane Relief Fund will help survivors recover and rebuild. Nonprofits and intermediary organizations may apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for nonprofit groups serving disaster victims who reside within Entergy's service area. The program will not provide direct grants to individuals.
Eligible organizations must have 501(c) 3 nonprofit or equivalent tax status. Projects funded will include rebuilding efforts such as expenses related to home building or repairs, transportation, education, starting or rebuilding a business. All funds must be targeted to projects serving communities within Entergy's service area that were affected by Gustav and Ike.
A selection committee chosen by the Foundation for the Mid South will review all grant applications and will make decisions based on the information submitted on the applications.
Nonprofits and intermediary organizations will be able to visit the Foundation for the Mid South's Web site at http://www.fndmidsouth.org/ to download and submit an application for the Entergy Hurricane Relief Fund.
Entergy continues its recovery efforts following hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Resources from 34 states around the country and the District of Columbia are working in the Entergy service territory, giving a boost to restoration efforts.
Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston, Texas, at 2:10 a.m., CDT, Sept. 13. It caused outages for 99 percent of Entergy Texas customers, the highest in the company's history. The storm, combined with a cold front, affected the weather throughout Entergy's service territory the following day. Peak outages included more than 392,600 in Texas and 179,000 in Arkansas.
In terms of power outages, Hurricane Gustav, which struck Sept. 1, 2008, is the second worst in Entergy's 95-year history, peaking at about 850,000 -- the overwhelming majority of them in Louisiana. That easily bypassed the 800,000 outages in Hurricane Rita in 2005. The only larger number of Entergy outages was 1.1 million in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, which has been described as one of the worst natural disasters in American history.