Entergy Damage Ida

Ida Knocks Out Transmission Sources into New Orleans

Aug. 30, 2021
Those in the hardest-hit areas could experience power outages for weeks.

Hurricane Ida made landfall Aug. 29 at 11:55 a.m. CDT as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Ida was one of the strongest storms to make landfall in Louisiana and retained hurricane status nearly to Mississippi.

Those in the hardest-hit areas could experience power outages for weeks. This storm already has brought a tremendous amount of damage and it continues moving through Entergy's territory today.

At 7 a.m., Entergy had 888,229 power outages in Louisiana due to Ida’s destruction. Power outages continue to increase today as the storm moves through Mississippi.

As a result of Hurricane Ida’s catastrophic intensity, major transmission lines that deliver power into the New Orleans area are currently out of service. At 8 a.m. across the service area, 216 substations, 207 transmission lines, and more than 2,000 miles of transmission lines are out of service. Entergy knows of one transmission line that spans the Mississippi River that is down. The destroyed tower withstood Hurricane Katrina that struck the area in 2005.

Where weather permitted, Entergy crews were out at first light today assessing damage where it was safe to do so. This will help them get a better idea of what they are dealing with. It would be premature to speculate at this time when power will be restored given the extent of the damage.

Road closures, flooding and other accessibility challenges due to the storm is affecting our ability to reach some areas of Entergy's territory and could delay restoration in those communities.

Entergy teams are assessing damage as safely and quickly as they can. With the storm still underway, they have not been able to get people into all locations to do more detailed inspections. They will learn more today as the weather clears. In harder to reach areas, they use advanced technology, such as infrared cameras, drones and satellite imagery to assess damage by foot, vehicles, airboats, highwater vehicles and helicopters. Even so, lack of access in areas like waterways and marshes could delay damage assessment.

While Entergy is assessing damage, it will continue restoring service where it is safe to do so. These efforts are done in parallel.

Entergy has been working with the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board and offered back-up generation, in addition to their own back-up generation sources.

The greatest danger after this type of storm remains downed power lines and electrical equipment. If anyone sees a power line or electrical equipment on the ground

Crews, contractors and mutual-assistance partners are prepared to work long hours, restoring service to customers as safely and as quickly as possible. Entergy currently has a workforce of 11,450 ready to restore service for customers whose power may be affected by Ida. With additional requested resources, Entergy anticipates mobilizing a storm team of at least 20,000. As teams begin restoring power to critical services, Entergy begins to assess damage and put in place its restoration plan that will restore service to the greatest number of customers as safely and quickly as possible.

Entergy has staged external resources in safe locations outside of the impacted area to be ready to restore service as soon as it is safe to do so. Once workers return, they can begin safely restoring service to customers by closing circuit breakers, rerouting power and other means..

The  logistics team is acquiring hotel rooms and preparing to move mobile sleeping units to the affected areas to house the thousands of restoration workers coming to help restore service for our customers.

Responding simultaneously to a major storm and COVID-19 could affect response:

  • Along with standard storm preparations, Entergy employees continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic by taking additional steps. These include traveling separately if necessary, adjusting crew staging locations and greater use of drones.
  • Due to the additional measures crews must take, restoration may take longer, especially where there are widespread outages. Additionally, crews will continue to practice social distancing and we ask that customers do the same. For their safety and yours, please stay away from work zones.

Entergy has taken severe weather precautions at other nuclear plants due to Hurricane Ida.

  • Entergy declared a notification of unusual event at 6:12 p.m. Sunday after offsite power was lost due to Hurricane Ida. All safety systems performed as expected, with backup diesel generators starting as designed to power essential systems. An unusual event is the lowest of four emergency classifications designated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure the first steps for future response. At 10:29 a.m. Sunday Waterford 3 disconnected from the grid per procedure as storm winds escalated. The plant remains in a safe, secure and stable condition, and the sequestered team members are safe.
  • River Bend Station has reduced power at the dispatcher’s request. The action is being taken to preserve grid integrity in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The situation is fluid, and power levels are expected to change in coordination with grid operators.

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