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When Will Louisiana Get Power Back? Entergy Could Give Predictions On Thursday

<strong>Weds., Sept. 1:</strong> A family without power prepares for dinner in their front yard after Hurricane Ida in Hammond, La.
Sean Rayford
Getty Images
Weds., Sept. 1: A family without power prepares for dinner in their front yard after Hurricane Ida in Hammond, La.

Entergy Louisiana expects to complete its assessment of the damage to its infrastructure caused by Hurricane Ida Thursday, four days after the Category 4 storm made landfall and caused mass outages across the region.

After that, the power utility will be able to provide predictions for bringing back power across the state, Entergy said during a call with reporters. While power slowly started to flicker back on around New Orleans Wednesday — including spots in New Orleans East and the French Quarter — Entergy officials have warned before that the hardest-hit areas by the storm may be without power for weeks.

One restoration prediction, however, was offered — the vast majority of the greater Baton Rouge area should have its power restored by September 8.

“Now there will be pockets of customers that’s extended,” Philip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO, said. “But we’re excited to be able to provide that guidance to our customers to have the lights back on.”

On Wednesday, Entergy said it knew 5,000 poles and 5,200 transmissions were damaged in the storm. Beyond assessment, crews are focused on restoring power to critical infrastructure. That also includes hotels, with more than 20,000 linemen in the state to help with recovery needing lodging.

Some of the restored infrastructure include:

  • Children’s Hospital
  • Tulane's teaching hospital
  • Tulane University Medical Center
  • University Medical Center New Orleans
  • University Hospital
  • Several water plants

The Caesars Superdome also had power restored so it could be used as a shelter.
Entergy did not address why its outage map shows some areas having restored power when that is not the case. It did say that there is often a lag between power being restored and that showing up on the map.

New Orleans Power Outage (Sept. 1, 2021)
Stephan Bisaha/Gulf States Newsroom
This animated GIF shows Entergy New Orleans' power restoration efforts for Sept. 1, 2021 — three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in southeast Louisiana.

At the peak, about 904,000 customers in Louisiana were without power. Entergy said it’s restored power to about 137,000 customers. On Thursday morning, about 60 percent of Entergy’s customers in the state were without power. In New Orleans, about 88 percent of customers were waiting for their power to come back.

In the Bayou region, where Ida made landfall and did the worst of its damage, May said the company did not have a count of the customers affected by the outages. A “lengthy restoration” effort could be in order, though, taking as long as three weeks due to extensive damage and access issues.

Stephan Bisaha is the wealth and poverty reporter for the Gulf States Newsroom, a regional collaboration between NPR and member stations in Alabama (WBHM), Mississippi (MPB) and Louisiana (WWNO and WRKF). He reports on the systemic drivers of poverty in the region and economic development.

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