In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, some of Louisiana's power outages are expected to last for weeks, reports the Washington Post
Across the southeastern region of the state, residents could face several weeks or more without power as work crews begin to repair tens of thousands of downed utility poles, ruptured transformers, and mangled transmission lines in the aftermath of Ida.
Although some residents had their electricity restored on Saturday in New Orleans, most of the city’s power may not be turned on until the middle of next week.
Entergy, the state’s largest utility, released an update on its website that five parishes, Lafourche, lower Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Charles, and Terrebonne will not have power restored until the end of the month. If outages continue, the company said it “will explore every option to expedite restoration.”
Along with the prospects of being out of power for several weeks, heat advisories are in effect for Baton Rouge and New Orleans where the heat index is expected to reach 105 degrees.
President Joe Biden, who visited the region on Friday, empathized with residents who learned that it might take weeks before power is fully restored.
"I know you gotta be frustrated about the restoration of power, and I understand that,” he said
"We're moving as fast as we can to keep gas moving at the pumps," he continued. "I've authorized going into the strategic petroleum reserve, but I know still there's work to do in this area, and I've instructed my team to ensure that we have all hands on deck to make sure that happens."
Despite the growing frustrations of thousands of residents who are still without power, State Rep. Mark Wright stated that efforts to restore power are ahead of schedule.
"I know initially we thought we were talking three to four weeks, you know, we'll see where it goes from here, but things are moving along," Wright said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed more than 1,100 employees to assist in recovery efforts across the region and has also disbursed almost $93 million in financial assistance to individuals.
Hurricane Ida made landfall two Sunday ago as a Category 4 hurricane, resulting in the deaths of at least 13 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. Remnants of the storm slammed the Northeast on Wednesday night through Thursday morning, causing massive flooding throughout New York and New Jersey. The storm has claimed the lives of dozens of people, as previously reported by EBONY.
As of Friday afternoon, there were still nearly 826,000 customers without power in Louisiana, according to PowerOutage.US.