T&D World Magazine

Electricity and Gas will be Available to Majority of New Orleans by Year End

The vast majority of residents and businesses in the New Orleans area will have electric and gas service available to them within six weeks following the approval by the New Orleans City Council on Thursday to reallocate funds to assist storm restoration efforts.

Entergy New Orleans has worked with New Orleans City Council members and the council's utility committee advisors to identify ways to assist the company in accelerating restoration of electric and gas service. Together, the company and the council have developed a plan to make it possible for the utility company to secure additional storm restoration resources that will expedite restoration in New Orleans neighborhoods - except for the decimated areas. Those areas are expected to have power by February 2006.

The Utility Committee of the New Orleans City Council will meet this Wednesday to vote on the measure, and then the full council will consider the measure on Thursday.

Entergy New Orleans is identifying a compliment of additional restoration workers now with plans to have them arrive in the New Orleans area as early as the end of this week.

Power Restored Within a Week to Two Weeks

The less damaged areas of the Ninth Ward, the Gulf Outlet and Gentilly will have electric service as early as next week. Crews working in these areas will focus on rebuilding and repairing the electric distribution system while also reconnecting customers who've had electrical work on their homes certified by the city.

These areas of the city should be completely restored by within two weeks at the most.

Power Restored Within Three to Six Weeks

Power will be available to New Orleans East and Lakeview to customers who can safely take power by year's end. Crews will focus on repairs to the infrastructure and the service lines that distribute power to homes and businesses.

Most Devastated Areas of New Orleans

Areas of Entergy New Orleans' service territory that sustained the most damage will take longer to repair, but crews will continue to make repairs to the infrastructure in this area as customers make repairs to their property.

The most devastated areas include portions of West End near the 17th Street Canal, parts of the Lower Ninth Ward, and the area of New Orleans East near Lake Catherine. Restoration of gas and electric service in these hardest hit areas will likely extend into February 2006.

Expedited Reconnection of Power

Also addressed in this plan will be service to customers who've had electrical or plumbing repairs to their homes inspected by the City of New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits. Both electric and gas customers are expected to have reconnection of service after the necessary repairs are made on an expedited basis.

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