The electrical grid around New Orleans that survived Katrina was decimated by Major Hurricane Ida when it came ashore yesterday. Regional utility company Entergy reported significant destruction to transmission lines throughout southeastern Louisiana, plunging many people into darkness. It could take weeks or longer for power to be restored. More than 10 Louisiana Parishes are reporting more than 90% are without power.
Entergy says all 8 transmission lines that deliver power into New Orleans were knocked out of service. “When this occurred, it caused a load imbalance in the area and resulted in generation in the area coming offline,” Entergy reported in a statement. “We are currently working to assess damage and identify a path forward to restore power, to those who can take it, in the area.”
As of 3pm Monday, local time, Louisiana utilities reported that 1,023,000 customers are without power. A customer could include a multi-resident home, resulting in millions of people stuck in the dark.
Entergy also says a major transmission line collapsed into the Mississippi River. The line, which runs across the Mississippi River from Avondale to Harahan, had a collapsed tower, plunging the line into the water and bringing darkness to the region. The tower withstood Hurricane Katrina’s wrath in 2005.
New Orleans EMS issued a bulletin about down wires: “Please remain sheltered in place. Although you may be tempted to go explore, conditions are still very dangerous. KEEP AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED UTILITY LINES– EVEN THE TINY ONES! Don’t put yourself at risk. Stay home. Stay home. Stay home.”