Storm Center > Entergy System Hurricane Ida Update – 8/31/21 @ 6:30 p.m.
Entergy System Hurricane Ida Update – 8/31/21 @ 6:30 p.m.
Just two days after Hurricane Ida delivered a catastrophic blow to Louisiana, Entergy has determined two options to bring first lights into the Greater New Orleans area by late evening Wednesday, Sept. 1.
- Restoration of certain critical transmission lines that tie the Greater New Orleans region to the larger electric grid – this is the preferred solution; or
- Creating an “island” that would temporarily isolate the Greater New Orleans region from the larger electric grid. This stand-alone grid will operate on a limited basis supplied by local generation from the New Orleans Power Station in Eastern New Orleans and Ninemile 6 in Bridge City.
Under either scenario, New Orleans Power Station and Ninemile Point Power Station will be extremely valuable and important local sources of generation providing power to customers.
Any power to the region will allow the company to begin powering critical infrastructure in the area such as hospitals, nursing homes and first responders in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, as well as parts of St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes. Restoration will vary by parish and neighborhood based on local transmission and distribution damage.
Customers are urged to adhere to the guidance of their local officials on when to return to the area.
Nearly 18,350 workers of an anticipated storm team of more than 20,000 is assessing the vast damage and destruction across New Orleans, southeast Louisiana and Mississippi, and restoring service where it is safe to do so.
Distribution system damage in Louisiana and Mississippi as of 2 p.m. today included 2,438 poles, 550 transformers and 2,984 spans of wire damaged or destroyed.
On our transmission system, 39 of 216 affected substations and 20 of 208 affected transmission lines have returned to service as of 8 a.m. today. Over 1,800 miles of transmission lines remain out of service.
We are working with the City of New Orleans to provide support to the community by helping secure 10 backup generator units to the Sewerage and Water Board and a generator at the Convention Center.
Although all power is out in the New Orleans area, our outage map is incorrectly showing some areas as having power, including the French Quarter. This is due to a data error that we are working to correct as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Due to outage volume and post-storm assessment status, our maps may temporarily show discrepancies. We apologize for any inconvenience.
As a result of Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic intensity, major transmission lines that deliver power to several Louisiana parishes are currently out of service. Damage to eight high-voltage lines took out power for New Orleans and Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes, as well as parts of St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes. One transmission tower that withstood Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, fell Sunday night. The tower’s conductor landed in the Mississippi River.
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.
Hurricane Ida’s fierce winds damaged some of our generating plants in the New Orleans area. By making generation repairs simultaneously with transmission, we will be able to produce power for New Orleans-area customers when the transmission system is able to deliver it. Our focus is on identifying functioning transmission lines we can use to deliver power to customers in the area.
Assessment began at first light Aug. 30. Assessment could take several days to complete before we can give all customers an estimated time to restore their power.
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 are assessing 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.
We appreciate our customer’s patience. While we are assessing damage, we will continue restoring service where it is safe to do so. These efforts are done in parallel. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
We have been working with the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board and offered back-up generation, in addition to their own back-up generation sources.
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).
Customers choosing to use a generator should buy one only from a reputable dealer who can service and maintain the unit. Always use portable electric generators in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. More generator-use information is below.
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.
Entergy has taken severe weather precautions at our other nuclear plants due to Hurricane Ida.
- Entergy declared a notification of unusual event at 6:12 p.m. Sunday after offsite power was lost due to Hurricane Ida. All safety systems performed as expected, with backup diesel generators starting as designed to power essential systems. An unusual event is the lowest of four emergency classifications designated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure the first steps for future response. Earlier Sunday at 10:29 a.m., W3 disconnected from the grid per procedure as storm winds escalated. The plant remains in a safe, secure and stable condition, and the sequestered team members are safe.
- River Bend Station has reduced power at the dispatcher’s request. The action is being taken to preserve grid integrity in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The situation is fluid, and power levels are expected to change in coordination with grid operators.
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 cautions when clearing limbs or downed vegetation as it could hide electrical hazards.
Entergy’s goal is to provide reliable electrical power at a reasonable price. But some emergency conditions may cause power outages that last for extended periods. Some customers may choose to use a portable generator during these times.
- 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.
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 in the area of 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 at Powering Your Medical Needs 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.
- Visit the Entergy Storm Center website and our View Outages page.
- 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.
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.
- When restoration starts, keep in mind that 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.
Click here to learn more about our restoration process.
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 Historical Comparison
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.