News Center > Power restoration underway in hard-hit Orleans, St. Bernard parishes
Power restoration underway in hard-hit Orleans, St. Bernard parishes
Portions of electric system to be rebuilt following extensive damage from a devastating tornado
NEW ORLEANS – Entergy New Orleans and Entergy Louisiana crews and contractors from across the state are continuing to assess damages and repair and rebuild portions of the electric system damaged by yesterday’s severe weather system that produced tornados.
After working into the night and this morning, crews have restored power to thousands of customers across Louisiana. As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, approximately 5,000 remained without electric service in the hardest-hit areas.
Although data from scouts and support personnel are continuing to roll into local networks, initial field reports are that concentrated portions of the companies’ electric system — especially along the reported route of one of the tornados — saw catastrophic damages. Arabi and a section of New Orleans East were particularly hard hit. Additionally, crews are working with local officials as they continue search and rescue efforts to ensure the safety of residents in the impacted areas.
With around 50% of field assessments completed in St. Bernard Parish and around 80% completed in Orleans Parish as of Wednesday morning, approximately 90 poles, 50 transformers and 100 spans of wire have been identified as damaged and in need of repair or replacement. In addition, three transmission line segments, including one that runs through the marsh near Parish Road in Chalmette and diverts toward New Orleans, were impacted and a substation in Arabi was severely damaged.
“It’s never something you want to hear, that our communities were greatly affected by severe weather, and lives, forever changed,” said John Hawkins, vice president of distribution operations for Entergy in Louisiana. “The damage is extensive, and in some areas, this will be a total rebuild of the electric system. Together, we will pick up the pieces and bring a sense of normalcy back to our communities.”
He added, “Our commitment at Entergy is to get the lights back on and stand with our customers every step of the way.”
Local crews will be joined by additional crews from across Louisiana throughout the day to help accelerate power restoration where safely possible. In addition to Entergy distribution lineworkers, multiple scout teams and approximately 20 contractor crews are currently supporting restoration efforts in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes. But considering the magnitude of damages, it could take several days to restore power to all customers who can safely accept service. More specific estimated times of restoration will be provided once assessments are completed.
Aside from work related to the electric system, Entergy gas crews are patrolling Algiers, the Lower 9th Ward and New Orleans East to fully assess any areas that saw damage and make sure the gas system is safe and secure.
If customers saw damage to their electric equipment like their weatherhead or meter base, they will need to contact a licensed electrician to have repairs made before Entergy can reconnect service. For more information, visit the What’s Yours? What’s Ours? page on the Entergy Newsroom.
Customers are encouraged to make safety a priority by keeping their distance from utility crews and their worksites and calling 1-800-ENTERGY to report downed power lines or if they smell gas or suspect a leak. If customers do smell gas, they should not operate anything that could cause a spark and leave the location immediately.
To help customers with basic needs, Entergy is partnering with community organizations like the American Red Cross, United Way of Southeast Louisiana and SBP USA. These organizations will be providing meals, water, supplies and assistance with clean up and rebuilding. The company’s community disaster response plan includes prefunding grants to nonprofits to help them prepare in advance and be ready to deploy as soon as storms have passed.
About Entergy New Orleans
Entergy New Orleans, LLC provides electricity to more than 209,000 customers and natural gas to more than 110,000 customers in Orleans Parish, Louisiana. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production, transmission and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. power generating fleets with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 7,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Entergy has annual revenues of $10 billion and approximately 12,500 employees.
About Entergy Louisiana
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers in 58 parishes and natural gas service to more than 94,000 customers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Entergy Louisiana is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production, transmission and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. power generating fleets with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 7,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Entergy has annual revenues of $10 billion and approximately 12,500 employees.