T&D World Magazine

Entergy Completes More Than 95% of Hurricane Rita Restoration

Entergy has restored service to more than 95 percent, or nearly 732,000 customers, who lost power due to Hurricane Rita in just over two weeks. About 34,000 Entergy customers remain without power due to Hurricane Rita, the second-worst storm to strike the company's four-state utility system in the company's history. Customer outages due to Hurricane Rita peaked at more than 766,000.

Entergy's workforce has restored power to more than 90 percent of the Texas customers left without power by Hurricane Rita. As of Monday, about 29,124 customers were still without electricity, compared to approximately 286,600 after Hurricane Rita hit on Sept. 24. Entergy hopes to have service fully restored by the end of this week. Crews are working to restore power to the remaining 5,325 customers still without power in the Lake Charles/Sulphur area in Southwest Louisiana. The company estimates that customers should have power restored by the end of the week, except for those customers who have damage to their own electrical facilities.

An estimated 123,000 customers in the New Orleans metropolitan area received substantial structural and/or flood damage as a result of the storm that will require significant reconstruction and may not be able to take power for some time. This is down from the original estimate of just over 156,000.

Where it is safe to do so, Entergy and utility crews have restored power to areas of New Orleans identified as part of the city's re-population plan (70115, 70118, 70116, 70112, 70113 and 70130.) Power has been restored to approximately 103,000 customers on the east bank of Orleans Parish. While Entergy crews continue to make repairs to its heavily damaged substations and distribution infrastructure in the hardest hit areas of the city, the company does not anticipate that it will restore large numbers of customers at the same pace as it has since Katrina made landfall August 29. Homes and businesses that were severely damaged by wind, rain or flooding will require inspections to ensure the customer's property is able to safely receive power.

Entergy has a workforce of more than 12,000 linemen and vegetation workers, plus approximately 3,000 support personnel, restoring service to those affected by Hurricane Rita. The workforce remains sufficient to restore service as quickly as possible as it concentrates into those areas still without electrical service.

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