Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, site of some of the most important oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf Coast, and shortly thereafter knocked out power to more than a million people, according to Department of Energy hurricane updates.
The storm, measured as having 45 MPH sustained winds, is a highly destructive Category 4 storm. The storm is endangering the region with storm surges, high winds and flash flooding, including in Louisiana’s cities.
“Ida will continue to produce heavy rainfall tonight through Tuesday morning across portions of southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi, and southwestern Alabama resulting in considerable to life-threatening flash and urban flooding and river flooding impacts. As Ida moves further inland, considerable flooding impacts are possible across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, Central and Southern Appalachians, and Mid-Atlantic through Wednesday,” according to a DOE hurricane update from the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response.
DOE said it is coordinating with industry, interagency, and territorial partners to support response efforts related to Hurricane Ida.
“Utilities are ready to begin restoration efforts once Ida has passed and conditions permit. In the electricity sector, mutual aid networks are activated to support post-storm restoration efforts and utilities are pre-staging crews, materials, and equipment. Initial mutual assistance efforts are being support by crews from at least 22 states and the District of Columbia,” according to the DOE update.
As with many severe storms, outage restoration efforts and damage assessments will be constrained by storm activity and will proceed as weather conditions permit. Crews cannot operate safely in heavily flooded areas, or where wind speeds exceed 30 MPH.
The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) has declared a Severe Weather Alert and Conservative Operations from 8 AM EDT on August 29 to 11:59 PM EDT on August 31. MISO is coordinating with its members in the South Region to assess damage, prioritize restoration and begin restoration efforts.
Transmission impacts have been reported, particularly around near Orleans parish.