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New Orleans Regains Partial Power After Hurricane Ida But Full Return Could Take Weeks Or More

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 1, 2021

Topline

A small section of eastern New Orleans on Wednesday morning became the first part of the city to have power restored after Hurricane Ida knocked out the lights across the entire metropolitan area, but a full restoration of power is still expected to take weeks or longer after the storm devastated southeastern Louisiana.

Key Facts

Entergy, the electric provider for much of the area, announced “the first step in bringing power back to the metro region” on Wednesday, saying some customers in New Orleans East are now getting electricity from a nearby power station.

The number of power outages in Louisiana has also dropped below a million, according to PowerOutage.US, though more than 90% of the New Orleans metropolitan area remains without electricity.

Lines are very long at the small number of businesses that are open, as residents try to get their hands on scarce resources like ice and gasoline, which is used to fuel generators.

Hurricane Ida cut off the city from all eight of its outside power sources, notably destroying a 400-foot-tall transmission tower that supplies power across the Mississippi River.

What We Don’t Know

New Orleans officials haven’t put any sort of timeline on power restoration yet, but if the estimates of nearby communities are any indication, most of the lights could be out for a long time. Officials in suburban St. Charles Parish reportedly expect power to be out there for at least a month. The mayor of Kenner, another suburban community, said residents should expect to be without power for three weeks.

Big Number

108. That’s how high the heat index could rise across southeast Louisiana on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. A heat advisory is in effect for the area.

What To Watch For

There have been no commercial flights into or out of New Orleans International Airport since Saturday, but Delta Air Lines is planning to resume “limited flight operations” there starting on Thursday afternoon.

Key Background

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, tying it with two other storms as the most powerful to hit the state in recorded history. The hurricane largely maintained its extreme intensity over Louisiana’s marshlands, and took a jog to the east once inland that unexpectedly brought the storm’s most devastating impacts directly over the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Tangent

Reports are slowly emerging of immense destruction in Louisiana’s coastal communities. Large sections of the few roadways that serve south Louisiana’s fishing villages have been washed out. In Grand Isle, Louisiana, which took a hit from the storm’s eastern eye wall, nearly every structure has reportedly taken on damage and a levee designed to protect the community has broken.

Further Reading

New Orleans Facing 105-Degree Heat Index As City Remains Without Power (Forbes)

‘We were ground zero’: Grand Isle mayor, others begin to dig out from Hurricane Ida’s destruction (The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

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