Hurricane Ida: What It Takes for New Orleans to Restore Power

Two days later Hurricane Ida devastated, New Orleans and the surrounding area remained virtually powerless. Levees, floodwalls, floodgates, pumps, and other protections prevented severe flooding, but Ida knocked down all eight transmission lines in the city, which were targeted by dark parishes in the dark. Reopening the lights can be a difficult process without a clear timeline-but it starts with a lot of scrutiny efforts.

As of Monday, there were nearly one million customers without electricity in Louisiana and nearly 50,000 in southern Mississippi as a result of the storm. Regional electric utility Entergy said Tuesday it has already restored electricity to thousands of customers and 840,000 are still without power in Louisiana, plus 25,000 in Mississippi.

Entergy and other local utilities said they would need days to complete preliminary scouting and remove debris as they tested the situation. “Electricity is practically non-existent for most people in Southeastern Louisiana,” Governor John Bel Edwards SAYS on Monday night. “I can’t tell you when the power will be restored and tell you when all the remnants will be cleaned, and need to be repaired, and so on.” Edwards repeated on Tuesday that his office had no estimate of when the power would return.

The equipment prepares it can take three weeks or more to restore power to each customer, an estimate based on past recovery hours, such as Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and Isaac in 2012. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it took 40 days for power to return to the entire region.

Those repeated disasters mean the equipment has a recovery playbook for storms like Ida. But knowing what order to run the games depends entirely on the unique conditions left by each storm-which regions are inaccessible for several days due to flooding, and what are specific system components require a lot of maintenance.


The damage assessment began with a massive effort from more than 20,000 utility workers, a force drawn from both local employees and ammunition from other facilities across the country. In addition to driving around to inspect equipment every inch of local power lines, crews must also inspect for failures and damage to power plants, voltage transformer stations, and substations. Crews use drones and helicopters to also conduct aerial surveys. And while they waited for the floodwaters to recede, they brought boats to begin dealing with damage to the areas left underwater.

One of the most important components to assess Ida’s recovery is the condition of the transfer system. The main transmission lines comprise the backbone of a power grid, which carries high -voltage electricity over long distances to connect power generation sites such as power plants with substations. feeding local power lines to customers.

New Orleans has eight of the high-voltage transmission lines; Entergy said Tuesday that it is still working to figure out the failures of each of them. In expertise, the company works to repair its power plants; In fact, they are ready to generate power once it reaches the transfer system. Entergy also said it is also exploring the possibility of using local generators to directly feed power lines without the need for a fully operating transmission system.

Just outside New Orleans, a tall transmission tower, also known as a lattice tower, collapsed Sunday night as a result of Ida’s strong winds. The tower, which memorably remained standing during Hurricane Katrina, disrupted its power lines and conductors on the Mississippi River in its collapse. The crew had to build the tower and replace all of its equipment, one by one in the construction process. In the condition of other transfer lines, the project can be either color -coded or just one of many skillful endeavors.

“The damage from Hurricane Ida has removed much of the redundancy done to the transmission system, making it difficult to transfer electricity around the region to customers,” Entergy said in a statement on Tuesday.

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