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Some may be without power for weeks; nearly 1 million still affected by outages Wednesday

2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, August 31 2021 Aug 31, 2021 August 31, 2021 1:26 PM August 31, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

More than 993,200 are still out of power days after Hurricane Ida rolled through Louisiana.

As of 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, about 776,000 of those are Entergy customers who have lost power. An additional 104,400 Cleco customers, including 99% of customers in St. Tammany Parish, were out of power as of Tuesday afternoon.

DEMCO reported that 60,000-80,000 of their customers do not have power as of Tuesday afternoon. The company said in a statement that restoring power "will be a weeks long effort."

East Baton Rouge Parish has more than 93,000 Entergy customers out of power and Ascension has about 35,000.

Orleans and Jefferson parishes reported the most outages, with about 177,000 and 199,000 respectively.

"It is damage to our larger infrastructure that takes more time, more equipment, more personnel to address those, and that's what we're doing now," DEMCO's David Latona said.

Entergy also said on Monday that those in the hardest-hit areas could "experience power outages for weeks." On Tuesday, Entergy told 2 On Your Side's Brittany Weiss that it's too soon to give a timeline for people in the Baton Rouge area.

"We have to actually assess all the damages in order to get a clearer picture of what the system looks like," Entergy's David Freese said.

As soon as there is a timeline available, Entergy says it will let customers know. Entergy says to prepare for those outage numbers to fluctuate slightly as repairs are made. That's because sometimes crews have to power down an area to safely make repairs.

Power companies say some areas are harder to get to than others, especially since traffic has picked up as people return to their homes. Crews are asking people to allow them access so they can make repairs quickly and safely.

Entergy says the damage is scattered. In the Baton Rouge area, Entergy isn't finding significant transmission line damage like it is in New Orleans.

"We also have downed power lines that are high voltage transmission lines as well," Freese said. "While we do have damages to our transmission infrastructure and we also have some substations that are out, we're not seeing the significant catastrophic damage to the level that some of those communities down south are seeing toward the New Orleans area."

DEMCO says it's counted 60 transmission poles and over 300 poles down. Entergy is also reporting hundreds of poles down. Until those repairs are made to poles and transformers, power can't be distributed.

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