Insights > Entergy System Hurricane Ida Update – 9/5/21 @ 6 p.m.
Entergy System Hurricane Ida Update – 9/5/21 @ 6 p.m.
Damage assessment is now complete of Hurricane Ida’s devastation to our service territory. The number of poles damaged or destroyed from Ida (30,679) is more than hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Delta and Zeta combined.
Seven days after Hurricane Ida made landfall, as of 3:45 p.m., Entergy has restored 443,000, or 47% of the 948,000 customers who lost power due to the storm.
Restoration continues where it is safe to do so and where power can be received. Estimated times of restoration are available for affected areas of the company. Visit our dedicated Hurricane Ida restoration website to get the most up-do-date estimated times of restoration.
We were able to access our hardest-hit Bayou Region, including Grand Isle, Saturday. Crews assessed damage and we are putting our restoration plan in place.
We recognize the need for customers to receive estimated restoration times. Entergy now has estimated restoration times for all customers affected by Hurricane Ida across southeast Louisiana, including the hardest-hit areas.
Restoration times extend up to Sept. 29, depending on the severity of the impacts from the storm. This represents a “no later than date” and the company will explore every option to expedite restoration.
Restoration dates represent the vast majority of customers for a given parish and a few customers in the most affected areas could still be without power for longer.
These estimates are subject to change as we continue with restoration work in the affected areas. We will issue updates to these estimates as we learn more.
Specific restoration times down to the local area, including the coast and areas in the immediate path of the storm, are continuing to be developed and will be released in the coming days.
Due to the level of devastation in these areas, some roads remain blocked, and access to the damaged areas remains difficult.
- We used helicopters, drones and other tools to help us assess damage where access was limited.
- Estimated times of restoration should help customers better plan and prepare for the coming days, and for those in the hardest-hit areas, weeks ahead.
- The estimated times for restoration reflect completion dates, but service to many customers will be restored before these dates.
The safety and comfort of our employees and of contract workers traveling from near and far to help us during this difficult time is paramount.
We regret the logistical issues some of the field crews experienced early on, but we have resolved them.
We have a large and capable logistics team focused 24/7 on finding beds, food, laundry facilities and gas for thousands of workers – we are essentially moving a large army and it takes an enormous amount of effort and coordination.
We are committed to ensuring everyone who is here to assist with this restoration has what they need. That is our responsibility, and we take it very seriously.
Nearly 26,000 workers are helping assess damage and destruction across our territory and restoring service where it is safe to do so. They come from 41 states including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Damage and Restoration Information
Distribution system damage in Louisiana and Mississippi at 9 p.m. Sept. 4 included 30,679 poles, 36,469 spans of wire and 5,959 transformers damaged or destroyed. The number of poles damaged or destroyed is more than Katrina, Ike, Delta and Zeta combined.
Of the 225 affected transmission substations, 180 have returned to service as of 8 a.m., Sept. 5 as well as 142 of 211 affected transmission lines. More than 847 miles of transmission lines remain out of service.
Ida’s destruction compared to previous hurricanes in our service territory:
Distribution poles destroyed or damaged
Customer Safety and Information
For power status information on your location:
- If you already receive text alerts from Entergy, type STAT to 36778 for power status.
- If not, login to your account at myEntergy.com and click notifications in top right or the Entergy Mobile Application, see home page for power status.
- If power status shows on, and your power remains out, please check breakers, and if needed report the outage by texting OUT or call us at 1-800-9OUTAGE(1-800-968-8243).
View Outages map details:
View Outages is a visual representation of the state of the grid.
- The green and red lines are intended to provide users with indications that line segments are generally either energized or de-energized.
- However, as our crews restore power from events like Hurricane Ida it is important to understand that there is a high volume of switching activity that may result in data latencies impacting updates to View Outage Maps.
- View Outage Maps should not be relied upon for detailed planning purposes. For planning purposes, users should rely upon the location specific information provided by logging into their myEntergy account.
Green lines indicate that the line segment is energized, or power is flowing. Red lines indicate that that line segment is de-energized, or no power is flowing.
It’s important to note that while the main line may be energized, the map doesn’t show power flow all the way to the home. There could be damage or other issues between the energized line and the home such as transformers, down wires from the pole to the home or damage with the meter or within the location itself. The map relies on software to predict the location of outages; actual outages may vary from those predicted.
Estimated restoration times are available on our dedicated Hurricane Ida restoration website.
In addition, during major storm events a large amount of activity is taking place in the field to restore power as safety and as quickly and provide information that must be communicated from the workers in the field, back to the office and ultimately be updated in the underlying systems that supply data to the outage map.
Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans will work with customers affected by Hurricane Ida to help them manage their bills. Customers affected by the storm will not receive disconnect notices, be assessed late fees or be disconnected due to a late payment posting. All Entergy customers can make payments and receive bills online. Entergy will receive and post payments.
Customers may receive automated billing payment reminders that processed prior to, and during, Hurricane Ida’s impact. During this period of restoration, customers in the impacted area will not be disconnecting due to non-payment.
Customers may receive an electronic or paper bill, this bill is for usage that occurred before Hurricane Ida. We have taken measures to ensure that we aren’t estimating usage based on historical information, while customers are without power.
Customers may receive automated payment reminders based on their prior settings selected before Hurricane Ida. Until further notice, we are not disconnecting customers or charging any late fees due to non-payment in the impacted area.
Due to the recent devastation from Hurricane Ida, we are experiencing delays in receiving and processing payments sent to Entergy via USPS and other mail courier services. This is impacting all Entergy customers.
- We encourage all customers to make digital payments online to ensure payments are received and applied timely.
- Visit myEntergy.com for convenient digital payment options to avoid paying for postage, incurring late fees or experiencing service disruption.
Customers with property damage may require special action to speed their restoration:
- If your property has water damage, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. A licensed electrician’s inspection of your property’s electric wiring may be needed before Entergy can restore power to a home or business that has water damage from rain or flooding.
- Customers with damage to their meter, meter pan or weatherhead will need repairs to those items prior to Entergy re-energizing their structure.
For customers without property damage:
- Property owners without hurricane damage should be cautious.
- Look for electrical system damage once power is restored. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or the smell of hot insulation is noticeable, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
Please do not reach out directly to our workers as they restore service. They are working very hard to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Interacting with crews while they perform work can be a distraction that creates safety issues and disrupts their efficiency. (See the “Stay Informed” section below on how to get outage information).
Keep safety at the forefront of everything you do. If you see a power line down, treat it as though it were energized and report it to 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
Return home only when authorities advise and drive only on roadways and bridges declared passable.
Stay alert for natural gas leaks. If you smell natural gas, or if you hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and leave the area immediately. Do not operate electrical switches. More on gas safety is below.
When power is restored, look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or notice the smell of hot insulation, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. You may need a licensed electrician to assess your equipment and assure safety.
We continue to work with and receive support from local, state and federal officials to ensure our communities’ needs are met in this time of crisis.
Road closures, flooding and other accessibility challenges due to the storm continue affecting our ability to reach some areas of our territory and could delay restoration in those communities.
We assess damage as safely and quickly as we can. In harder to reach areas, we use advanced technology, such as infrared cameras, drones and satellite imagery to assess damage by foot, vehicles, airboats, highwater vehicles and helicopters. Even so, lack of access in areas like waterways and marshes could delay our damage assessment.
The greatest danger after this type of storm remains downed power lines and electrical equipment. If anyone sees a power line or electrical equipment on the ground or in the trees or bushes -- do not go near it! Call us at 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
Responding simultaneously to a major storm and COVID-19 could affect our response:
- Along with standard storm preparations, Entergy employees continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic by taking additional steps. These include traveling separately if necessary, adjusting crew staging locations and greater use of drones.
- Due to the additional measures crews must take, restoration may take longer, especially where there are widespread outages. Additionally, crews will continue to practice social distancing and we ask that customers do the same. For their safety and yours, please stay away from work zones.
You should stay safe as we restore service outages caused by Hurricane Ida.
- There is no way to know if a downed line is energized or not, so if you see one, keep your distance and call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Stay safe and away from downed power lines and flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris, since energized and dangerous power lines may not be visible. Be cautious when clearing limbs or downed vegetation as they could hide electrical hazards.
Some customers without power may choose to use a portable generator.
- If customers choose to use a generator, they should buy one only from a reputable dealer who can service and maintain the unit.
- Customers should always use portable electric generators in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- A gasoline engine usually powers stand-alone generators. Customers should use them only in well-ventilated areas. Never use a generator indoors as carbon monoxide from the exhaust is deadly.
- If the generator has panel-mounted electrical receptacles as part of the unit, appliances may be plugged directly into the generator.
- Customers must never connect a generator directly to a building’s wiring without a licensed electrician disconnecting the house wiring from Entergy’s service. Otherwise, it can create a safety hazard for the customer or Entergy’s workers working to restore power. And it may damage the generator or the house wiring.
- Customers should use a licensed electrician to install the necessary equipment should they decide to wire a generator into their home wiring. The equipment should include a switch to transfer the power source between Entergy and the generator.
- The generator should be properly sized for the expected load. For example, a 3-kilowatt generator will produce 3,000 watts. This is enough power for a 1,200-watt hair dryer and a 1,600-watt toaster, with some power left over for a few light bulbs. Customers should plan for additional needs when sizing their generator.
- Customers should consider a generator’s noise pollution as part of their buying decision. The noise may be obtrusive to neighbors without power.
- Commercial customers should consult with an independent engineer or electrician to size the generator, modify wiring and provide for automatic transfer of power during an outage.
- Customers should consult with suppliers, vendors and local electrical utility companies about required permits before starting any work in a home or business.
- Restoration workers who discover a generator attached directly to Entergy’s system will work with the customer to disconnect the generator. As a last resort, the restoration worker will disconnect the customer’s service connection to Entergy, which may take an extended time to reconnect due to the extensive restoration effort underway.
- Click here for more generator safety tips.
For our natural gas customers
- Stay alert for natural gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and leave the area immediately. Do not use an open flame, operate electrical switches, use telephones (corded or mobile) or other electronic devices. Call the gas company from a nearby building and don’t re-enter until it’s safe to do so. Click here for more gas safety tips.
- In flooded areas, a steady stream of bubbles on the surface of the water may be evidence of a gas leak. In areas that are not flooded, blowing dirt or dead grass and plants near a gas line may be evidence of a leak, in addition to the easily detectable smell and a hissing sound.
- Please do not attempt to turn on or off your natural gas valve.
Help for Those Affected by Hurricane Ida
- Even as our crews work to restore power to communities impacted by Hurricane Ida, we have mobilized to provide additional support for co-workers, customers, friends and neighbors who have suffered losses in this devastating storm.
- As an American Red Cross National Disaster Responder Member, Entergy Corporation made a $500,000 commitment to enable the organization to effectively respond to storms and disasters.
- Red Cross volunteers are working very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible.
- The work is just beginning. The Red Cross is using financial donations to help people recover and get back on their feet in the challenging weeks and months ahead. You can help by joining us in donating at https://redcross.org.
Powering Your Medical Needs
- When outages strike, we work hard to restore power as safely and quickly as possible to all customers. But we can’t guarantee continuity of service or priority in restoration, and unplanned outages can’t be completely avoided.
- For areas hit hardest by Hurricane Ida, customers should take action for the safety of their special-needs family members by relocating them to a safe area, securing a back-up source of power such as a generator or employing battery back-ups for needed portable machines.
- The communities in our service area are prone to damaging hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms. If your household depends on life-support or other medical equipment, it’s important prepare for unplanned, extended outages.
- If your medical needs require electricity, we’ll work with you to minimize the impact of a power outage and help develop a plan of action should an outage affect you. This support is reserved for customers who have a ventilator in use in their homes 24 hours a day; have a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in use in their homes 24 hours a day or have residents in their homes who are on hospice care.
- You can discuss the need for such a plan with your physician.
- More information is available here.
Customers may experience delays when calling our telephone centers, especially from unaffected areas, due to overloading of the system with outage calls. We encourage customers to use these other means to interact with us during restoration:
- Download our free app for your smartphone at entergy.com/app.
- Sign up for text alerts by texting REG to 36778 and have your account number and ZIP code handy. The registration pattern is as follows including spaces: REG (account number) (ZIP code). Once registered, text OUT to 36778 to report an outage. You can also report an outage online as a guest.
- Follow us on Twitter.com/Entergy or Facebook.com/Entergy.
- Call us at 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- Follow updates in your local news media, like radio, television and newspapers.
We caution customers to be aware of unscrupulous attempts to swindle our customers during storm recovery.
- Entergy never demands immediate payment from customers over the phone. You shouldn't give your personal information to strangers.
- If a call sounds suspicious, hang-up and call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak directly with an Entergy customer service representative.
- If you believe you are a victim of this scam, notify the proper authorities, such as the local police or the state attorney general's office.
We remain in close coordination with local, state, federal and White House officials, along with our utility industry partners, to expedite storm response and power restoration efforts.
Entergy Chairman and CEO, Leo Denault joined President Biden, Governor Edwards, FEMA Director Criswell and other state and local officials Sept. 3 to tour the hardest-hit areas of the state and discuss strategies for accelerating restoration and recovery efforts.
Across southeast Louisiana's unique landscape, Entergy's transmission system spans land, water and marsh. However, the teams are well experienced in this type of geography as well as managing and repairing infrastructure in these types of conditions. In many cases, special equipment will be used as we inspect, repair and replace the steel, concrete and tensioned wires that are the foundation for our structures.
Two of our nuclear facilities, Waterford 3 and River Bend, sustained property damage to outlying structures on the site. Offsite power to Waterford 3 nuclear station was restored Aug. 31. River Bend operated throughout the event.
In addition to making significant progress on restoring outages, Entergy has also worked closely with critical service providers to help eliminate any disruption to services as crews work to restore power.
We have provided on-site generators to multiple critical facilities, including the Our Lady of the Sea’s ancillary medical facilities in Galliano, enabling them to provide basic medical care to the people in that region.
We have been able to bring Washington Parish Energy Center back online. This is another important source of local generation in the Amite South area.
In the greater New Orleans area, we’ve completed the restoration of six major transmission lines and no longer have restrictions on the amount of load that can be brought up.
- Approximately 1,000 megawatts of electrical generation are required to power the city. Therefore, both the 128-megawatt New Orleans Power Station and 550-megawatt Ninemile Point 6 are extremely valuable in providing local sources of power to our customers. We also have brought the Washington Parish Energy Center back online, and this is another local generator helping to provide power to customers.
- Eight lines, that deliver power into the greater New Orleans area were out of service because of impacts from Hurricane Ida’s damaging winds. This left the greater New Orleans area disconnected from the bulk electric transmission system. We have restored six lines back into the greater New Orleans area, and the city is now secure electrically such that we are able to add back load on an unrestricted basis.
Entergy has restored power to Ochsner Medical Center – Louisiana’s largest medical facility, Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, the VA Hospital, Touro Hospital, Ochsner Baptist Hospital, Tulane Lakeside Hospital, North Oaks Hospital, the Carrolton Sewage and Water Board Plant, in addition to several fire stations.
Entergy is providing backup generation and restoring power to several critical-service providers, including hospitals and wastewater facilities. The company also is working individually with large industrial customers, including refineries and manufacturing facilities, to coordinate their restoration.
Transmission lines that received major damage may need to be fully reconstructed in parts. Once the transmission lines are flowing electricity into the city’s substations, then power can flow through the distribution lines to homes and businesses that are able to accept power.
- We also will reconfigure our electricity delivery system where feasible to return power to some customers more quickly. Once repairs are completed, we will return the system to normal configuration.
- Although the power grid in southeast Louisiana will lack the redundancies that are in place when the transmission system is in full operation, Entergy Louisiana’s engineering and operations teams will follow a plan that will maintain the stability of the system.
We’re committed to being there for our customers – especially after a disaster. In addition to restoring power to areas hit by Hurricane Ida, we’ve compiled a list of available critical service providers and resources available to you.
Despite the significant logistical challenges and accessibility issues in some of the hardest-hit areas, our team continues assessing impacted infrastructure in Louisiana. Assessments will continue over the next few days but that may be extended for the more extensively damaged areas in the state.
The next days and weeks will be difficult for our region, but our workforce is here to lead the recovery, working until the last light is turned on.
We understand recovering from Hurricane Ida that can be very frustrating for you. The storm has passed, yet power outages remain as we continue our restoration. We know you want to know when your power will be restored.
- We understand how difficult it is to wait for power so you can get your lives back to normal. We ask for your patience as we rebuild damaged infrastructure, including poles, wires, substations and major lines.
- Our work must take place in a certain order, determined by a restoration plan that considers how electricity flows to your neighborhood and prioritizes critical customers like hospitals.
- It can be frustrating for you if you see trucks move away from an area before power is restored. Our work, however, must take place in a certain order, determined by a restoration plan that considers how electricity flows to your neighborhood and prioritizes critical customers. Trucks and workers will return to your area as soon as possible to complete the restoration work.
- We will provide regular updates on our progress. Stay in touch through the news media, social media, our smartphone app, text messages and entergystormcenter.com, direct-to-customer outage updates and 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
- If you don’t see us working near you, keep in mind that we may be working on another part of the electrical system that you can’t see but is needed to get power to you.
- We do not base our restoration plan on customers’ locations or their business history with us. Customers should report an outage only once. Making multiple reports for the same outage will not affect restoration times and ties up our phone lines unnecessarily.
- For our industrial customers, restoration priority is to power critical community services such as fire, police, hospitals and water and communication services. As we restore service to residential, commercial and industrial customers, we must do it in a way that balances the needs of our customers with the ability to support additional load as the system permits.
Transmission System Information
The transmission system plays a critical role in delivering power from the power plant to the lines serving customers’ neighborhoods. The damage from Hurricane Ida has eliminated much of the redundancy built into the transmission system, which makes it difficult to move power around the region to customers.
- The transmission system is the backbone of the electric grid and helps Entergy move energy from the power plant to the lines serving customers’ neighborhoods. Without these lines in service, it makes it difficult to move power across the system to customers in affected areas.
- If the grid and the flow of power were compared to our highway system, transmission lines would be the interstates, substations would be the off-ramps, and distribution lines would be the streets and roads that lead to homes and businesses.
- While these transmission structures are being repaired, engineering and operations groups are working closely, along with our reliability coordinator MISO, to ensure the safe and stable operation of the electric grid.
- Restoration crews will continue working in parallel to restore substations and the distribution system that feed homes and businesses. The company is also aggressively exploring other opportunities to flow power into New Orleans by enabling generators located in the area to begin producing electricity without the need for a transmission source to provide start-up power.
- The transmission structure that supports a 500,000-volt line weighs roughly 40,000 pounds. Transporting just one requires three 18-wheeler trucks. For comparison, one 18-wheeler can transport about 50-100 distribution poles.
Essential services such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and water systems are at the head of the restoration list, along with our equipment that supplies electricity to large numbers of customers.
Then we will concentrate our resources on getting the greatest number of customers back the fastest.
We can’t use our bucket trucks until sustained winds are less than 30 mph, but we can still begin restoring service to customers by closing circuit breakers, rerouting power and other actions.
You may see trucks, other vehicles and workers lined up while we process them into our system, taking inventory of equipment and personnel and giving a complete safety orientation.
Repairs begin with major lines to the substations, then to the lines and equipment serving neighborhoods, businesses and homes.
Service lines to individual homes and businesses will be restored last because fewer customers are involved, and in the case of fewer outages spread over larger areas, it often takes more time to get power back on for them.
Significant flooding and other accessibility challenges due to the storm will affect our ability to reach some areas of our territory and could delay restoration in those communities.
Remember if you don’t see us working near you, we may be working on another part of the electrical system that you can’t see but must be repaired to get power to you.
Following a storm, we deploy scouts to assess damage. It may take several days before we know how long until power will be restored. As safety is always the highest of priorities, and as we assess the damage, we’ll begin restoring service where it is deemed safe to do so.
We continuously learn and improve from storm experiences, including the record-breaking 2020 hurricane season.
- The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the busiest season ever recorded with 30 named storms. Entergy found itself in the cone of uncertainty for seven named storms during last year’s hurricane season. Five named storms hit Louisiana last year, making it the most active storm season ever for the state.
- We demonstrated our restoration ability last season by assembling large restoration workforces to quickly restore power to our customers.
- We are ready to take appropriate action before, during and after severe weather.
- Based on previous storm responses and annual storm exercises, we are constantly updating and improving our operations related to storm damage restoration.
- Operation: Storm Ready is our internal process of continuous planning, preparation and training. And an early step, when facing a storm, is to prepare to bring in extra personnel to support the effort.
- We have worked to storm-harden our system. From aggressive preventive maintenance programs to using steel transmission structures near the coast, elevating substations that might flood and installing “isolation” devices on lines to reduce outages, our goal is always to restore power safely and quickly.
We provide our workforce with food and shelter so that they can focus on the task at hand. Facing severe weather can be extremely challenging; we’re committed to minimizing the effects of a bad storm.
- Weather forecasts and computer models based on knowledge from past storms are used to predict the estimated number of customers without power and the number of days needed to restore power.
- Power is restored faster in areas with less damage. Some of the hardest-hit areas may take longer, which should be factored into your personal storm plan. Remember, safety first.
- Once the storm passes, we can fully assess the damage and will have more information to share.
Hurricane Ida Information
- Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph before moving through Mississippi.
- Ida’s historic intensity brought a tremendous amount of damage across Louisiana and Mississippi. Because of the extent of damage and rebuilding required, the recovery will be difficult and challenging. Customers in the hardest-hit areas should expect extended power outages lasting for weeks.
Hurricane Ida Historical Comparison
- The nearly 950,000 Entergy customers affected by Hurricane Ida is second only to Hurricane Katrina’s 1.1 million who were left without power.
- Ida tied for fifth with several other storms for highest wind speed when making landfall in the United States, according to Colorado State University. It is behind the 1935 Labor Day storm, 1969’s Camille, 1992’s Andrew and 2018’s Michael.
- Ida’s blow to Louisiana on Sunday marked the first time in recorded history that a state received back-to-back hurricane seasons with a storm of 150 mph winds or more. Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana in 2020 with 150 mph winds.
- Ida is tied with Laura, 2004's Charley and storms in 1932, 1919, 1886 and 1856 for hitting the United States with 150 mph winds.
- Ida increased 65 mph in the 24 hours before landfall, tying the record set in 2007 by Humberto for most rapid intensification in the day before landfall.