Entergy, Demco working to restore power throughout area

Staff Report
Linemen for Wilson Energy, of North Carolina, repair power lines in Houma on Wednesday, Sep. 1, 2021, after Hurricane Ida left nearly all of the area's residents without electricity.

Both Demco and Entergy continue to make progress restoring electricity to the thousands of customers experiencing outages in southeast Louisiana and parts of Mississippi.

According to a Sept. 2 news release, Entergy has restored power to some 167,000 customers.

The company said restoration continues where it is safe to work, and where power can be received.

Work crews are continuing damage assessments for all portions of the service area most affected by Hurricane Ida. The companies have said those in the hardest-hit areas could be without power for weeks.

Nearly 950,000 Entergy customers were affected, which is second only to Hurricane Katrina when 1.1 million were left without electricity.

According to Entergy, hospitals that have power include Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Medical School, VA Hospital, UMC, Ochsner Main Campus, East Jefferson, Lady of the Sea, Ochsner O’Neal Lane, Woman’s Hospital, and Baton Rouge General Mid City.

In the news release, the company pointed out the unique landscape of Louisiana as an added challenge. The transmission system spans land, water, and marsh.

Distribution system damage in Louisiana and Mississippi at 1 p.m. Sept. 1 included 5,850 poles, 7,090 spans of wire and 1,400 transformers damaged or destroyed.

The fourth day of the recovery saw 25,600 restoration workers teaming up to restore power. The company said workers have come from 38 states.

Essential services such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and water systems are at the head of the restoration list.

As mentioned by the company, Hurricane Ida was one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in Louisiana. The storm made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph before moving through Mississippi.

Demco also acknowledged the weeks long effort to completely restore power in the region.

Demco reported damage to 60 transmission poles, which affected an estimated 60,000-80,000 members.

According to Demco, the first step is to repair transmission lines which supply power to substations. Each large transmission pole serves up to 15,000 customers.

“We realize this isn’t news that people want to hear, but it is the reality of damage from a major weather event,” stated David Latona, vice president of marketing and member services.