Sunday, 19 September, 2021

Louisiana grapples with power outages after hurricane

Louisiana grapples with power outages after hurricane
Corbert Barrios, right, and his wife, Anna Barrios, clean up their storm-damaged house after Hurricane Ida on Saturday in Grand Isle, Louisiana. — AFP PHOTO

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WASHINGTON: Residents of the US state of Louisiana are still struggling after Hurricane Ida, and now when there is a power outage, there is the problem of finding a generator or fuel to power them, as one power firm warned that it may take weeks to totally restore electrical energy to hard-hit areas, report agencies.

The excessive winds from Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana as a class 4 hurricane final weekend, knocked out power to multiple million houses and companies throughout the state earlier than bringing torrential rains and flooding to New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas.

Many Louisiana gasoline stations stay with out power on Saturday, maintaining them from working, and making it tougher for residents to fill turbines.

“I had to wait about 40 minutes,” Aaron Lowe, a 49-year-old development employee, advised the Reuters information company in New Orleans, the place he was lined up at a gas station to attend for gasoline for a 3rd straight day.

“I was waiting between two and four hours in the last couple of days,” Lowe mentioned.

Full restoration of electrical energy to a few of the hardest-hit areas of the state may take till the tip of the month, the pinnacle of Entergy Louisiana mentioned on Saturday.

Ida broken or destroyed greater than 22,000 power poles, greater than hurricanes Katrina, Zeta and Delta mixed. At least 5,200 transformers failed and practically 26,000 spans of wire – the stretch of transmission wires between poles – have been down.

“The level of devastation makes it quite difficult or near impossible to get in and fully assess some places,” mentioned Entergy President and CEO Phillip May of 5 southeastern Louisiana parishes going through the longest delays.

The firm is estimating full power restoration by September 29 and even longer for some clients, though May mentioned that was a “no later than” date with the hope of earlier restoration.

As of Saturday morning, power had been restored to greater than 327,000 clients, Entergy mentioned.

“Restoration continues where it is safe to do so and where power can be received,” the corporate mentioned in a statement. “Damage assessments are nearly complete, with only the bayou region of Louisiana left to be assessed.”

About 1 / 4 of New Orleans residents have had power restored, together with all town’s hospitals, and town’s 27 substations are able to serve clients, mentioned Deanna Rodriguez, Entergy New Orleans president and CEO.

But hard-hit components of the state are nonetheless struggling to revive any sense of normalcy.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell mentioned town would supply transportation beginning on Saturday to any resident seeking to go away town and get to a public shelter. It already started shifting some residents out of senior houses.

Governor John Bel Edwards introduced he would journey to St Tammany, St Helena, and Livingston parishes on Saturday to evaluate the harm from the storm.

US President Joe Biden visited Louisiana a day earlier, promising extra federal help to the state.

“Super storms are going to come and they’re going to come more ferociously,” mentioned Biden, who linked the energy of the hurricane to local weather change. “This isn’t about being a Democrat or a Republican. We’re Americans and we’ll get through this together.”

Death toll rises

Hurricane Ida’s death toll in Louisiana additionally rose to 9 on Saturday, with two extra evacuated nursing dwelling residents among the many confirmed lifeless, authorities mentioned.

The new deaths have been amongst evacuees at a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse now below state investigation after reviews of squalid circumstances.

“Sadly, we also can now confirm 2 additional deaths among nursing home residents who had been evacuated to the Tangipahoa facility,” the Louisiana Department of Health tweeted. “This brings the death toll of nursing home residents evacuated to this facility to 6,” it mentioned.

Meanwhile, northeastern US states began the Labour Day vacation weekend digging via particles left by the lethal deluge that killed greater than 44 folks and precipitated public transportation in New York City to grind to a halt.

Local operators promised to revive some traces earlier than the beginning of the work week on Tuesday.