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CenterPoint Energy Continues Recovery Efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi; Crews From Arkansas, Texas and North Louisiana Assist Local Operations

HOUSTON, Sept 01, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) continues to make progress in assessing and repairing damage to its natural gas facilities severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Additional company crews from Arkansas, north Louisiana and Houston are helping local employees handle emergencies and ultimately work to restore natural gas service where it is out.

"In our service area outside the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we are responding to all emergency calls that come in and restoring service to our customers when requested," said Mike Fine, vice president and general manager of CenterPoint Energy's operations in Mississippi. "In the hardest hit areas along the coast, our priority still remains handling natural gas emergencies. Once those are completed, we will then concentrate on restoring service to customers who are able to return to their homes."

"The situation in the storm-affected areas of Covington and Bogalusa has greatly improved," added Walter Bryant, vice president and general manager of CenterPoint Energy's operations in Louisiana. "We appreciate our customers' patience during this difficult time."

To report natural gas emergencies call:

Louisiana - 800-477-0177.

Mississippi - Contact your local office; if you are unable to get through, please call 800-371-5417

CenterPoint Energy offers these post-storm natural gas safety tips: * If you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately and contact CenterPoint Energy or emergency personnel as soon as possible. It may be several days before crews can gain access to these areas due to flooding and other obstacles. * If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or a gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure it is in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances also, such as pool heaters, gas grills, gas generators and gas lights.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and sales, and interstate pipeline and gathering operations. The company serves nearly five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total approximately $16 billion. With more than 9,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. In Louisiana, CenterPoint Energy serves more than 250,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 175 communities. In Mississippi, CenterPoint Energy serves more than 125,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in about 100 communities. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.CenterPointEnergy.com .

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Alicia Dixon of CenterPoint Energy, Inc., +1-713-207-5885, or pager, +1-713-619-5143

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