Hurricane Ida: What does New Orleans need to restore power

Two days later Hurricane Ida raged, and New Orleans and its surrounding areas were almost completely cut off. Levees, flood walls, gates, water pumps, and other protective measures prevented large-scale floods, but Ada destroyed all 8 transmission lines into the city, leaving it and the nearby parish in darkness. Relighting the lights will be an arduous process, and there is no clear timetable yet-but it started with large-scale reconnaissance work.

On Monday, due to the storm, about 1 million users in Louisiana were out of power, and about 50,000 in southern Mississippi were out of power. Regional power company Entergy said on Tuesday that it has restored power to tens of thousands of customers. There are still 840,000 people out of power in Louisiana and 25,000 people in Mississippi.

Entergy and other local utility companies stated that when classifying the situation, they need several days to complete initial reconnaissance and debris removal. “For most people in southeastern Louisiana, electricity is practically non-existent,” Governor John Bell Edwards Said Monday night. “I can’t tell you when the power supply can be restored, nor can I tell you when all the debris will be cleaned up, when repairs will be carried out, etc.” Edwards Reiterate On Tuesday, his office did not estimate when the power would be restored.

The utility company warned that based on past recovery time estimates, it may take three weeks or more to restore power to each customer, such as Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and Isaac in 2012. After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it took approximately 40 days to restore power. Back to the power of the entire region.

Those recurring disasters mean that utility companies have recovery manuals for storms such as Ida. However, knowing in what order to run these dramas depends entirely on the unique conditions left by each hurricane—which areas are inaccessible for days due to flooding, and which specific components of the system require extensive repairs.


The assessment of the loss began with the huge efforts of more than 20,000 utility workers, which came from local employees and reinforcements from other utility companies across the country. In addition to patrolling around and inspecting every inch of equipment on the local power lines, the staff must also assess the failure and damage of power plants, substations, and substations. Staff also use drones and helicopters to conduct aerial surveys. When they waited for the flood to recede, they would take a boat and start dealing with the damage in the underwater area.

One of the most important components to evaluate in Ida recovery is the condition of the transmission system. The main transmission line forms the backbone of the power grid. It transmits high-voltage power over long distances and connects power plants and other power stations with substations that provide customers with local power lines.

New Orleans has eight such high-voltage transmission lines; Entergy said on Tuesday that it is still trying to understand where each project failed. At the same time, the company is working to repair its power plants; ideally, they are ready to generate electricity when the transmission system can provide power. Entergy said it is also exploring the possibility of using local generators to directly supply power to the power line without the need for a fully operational transmission system.

On the outskirts of New Orleans, a tall transmission tower, also known as the lattice tower, collapsed on Sunday night due to strong winds in Ida. The tower remained standing during Hurricane Katrina, dumping its power lines and conductors into the Mississippi River when it collapsed. The staff needed to rebuild the tower and replace all the equipment, which was a time-consuming construction process. Depending on the status of other transmission lines, the project may become a bottleneck or just one of many parallel work.

“The damage caused by Hurricane Ida eliminated most of the redundancy built into the transmission system, which made it difficult for the region to deliver power to customers,” Entergy said in a statement. statement Tuesday.

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