A total of 137,680 electricity customers in Louisiana and Texas remain without power from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Less than 16,000 are due to Hurricane Rita, including 7037 in Louisiana and 8331 in Texas. In Louisiana 122,312 customers remain without electricity due to Hurricane Katrina. These customers are principally in the areas near New Orleans and are unable to receive power at this time.
On Oct. 13, three members of the U.S. Department of Energy’s ESF-12 team of engineers in New Orleans performed an on-site assessment of the Plaquemines Parish. Plaquemines Parish is south of Orleans Parish and is one of the three parishes under the jurisdiction of the Area Field Office in New Orleans. These assessments were in support of Hurricane Katrina and Rita restoration and recovery efforts.
DOE staffs have been activated to the Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) in Atlanta for Hurricane Wilma. DOE staff are also at the New Orleans Area Field Office and State EOC in Baton Rouge.
Newton Electric Cooperative (JNEC)in Texas reports that as of Oct. 16 some 730 electrical workers have restored power to approximately 60% of JNEC’s meters. All of the company's substations, 100% of their transmission lines and 95% of their main feeder lines are now energized. Angelina County is nearly completed with 99.8% of meters on.
JNEC has been supported by 20 electric cooperatives and 30 contractors working to rebuild the 3000 miles of power lines and over 5000 utility poles destroyed by Hurricane Rita. Of their 20,905 customers 12,574 have been restored and 8,331 remain without power.
JNEC serves mostly the rural areas of Newton County. Deweyville in southern Newton County and surrounding communities in northern Orange County have a higher density of members than the rural areas and were hardest hit by Hurricane Rita. The company reports on its website that restoration in these areas will be "tedious and time consuming."
The Louisiana Public Service Commission reported on Oct. 17, 12:00 PM CDT, there were 7037 customers in Louisiana without power due to Hurricane Rita and 122,312 without power from Hurricane Katrina. The total number of customers without electricity is approximately 6.3% of all customers.
Entergy reports that all major energy facilities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Beaumont/Port Arthur, Lake Charles, and New Orleans areas have at least a single source feed for clean-up power and all but one have full capacity available for their current needs. Eight facilities have loop service restored.
Entergy has completed restoration of electricity services to New Orleans area customers who can receive service with some 120,000 remaining without electricity. They report that repairs to partially flooded properties appear to be progressing faster than expected.