Photo by Sean Pavone, Dreamstime
Sean Pavone Dreamstime

Ida Sweeps Into Virginia, Millions Still Without Power

Sept. 2, 2021
All eight transmission lines delivering power to New Orleans were damaged. Entergy is working to restore transmission paths to the city.

As of early Wednesday morning, Ida, now downgraded to a tropical depression, was moving toward Roanoke, Virginia at about 24 MPH. The storm is still producing powerful 30 MPH sustained winds.

Flood and flash flood watches are in effect for portions of the central Appalachians, Mid-Atlantic, and into southern New York and southern New England.

According to the Department of Energy’s situation report, there are still about 1 million customer outages in Louisiana and fewer than 30,000 outages in Mississippi.

The outages in Mississippi peaked at about 148,000 customers affected, and are now about 81% restored. About 7% of the Louisiana outages are restored.

Entergy, which manages service territories in New Orleans, Mississippi and elsewhere in the Gulf States, has restored power to some New Orleans customer thanks to power generated by the New Orleans Power Station. The outages to the New Orleans grid power are blamed on damage to transmission lines, leaving much of the city out of power.

All eight transmission lines delivering power to New Orleans were damaged. Entergy is working to restore transmission paths to the city.

“Utilities are conducting damage assessments and restoration efforts are underway, as conditions permit. Damage assessments of most locations should be completed by September 2. Estimated restoration times will be established once damage assessments are complete. Utilities in the impacted area pre-staged crews, equipment, and materials, and mutual assistance networks are supporting restoration efforts,” according to the DOE report from the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response.

Widespread power outages are likely leading to retail gas station closures in impacted areas. DOE also reported closure of several area refineries, natural gas facilities and other infrastructure.

DOE is coordinating with industry, interagency, and territorial partners to support response efforts related to Hurricane Ida.

Industry has activated mutual assistance networks and over 25,000 personnel from at least 32 states and the District of Columbia are support restoration efforts. Crews, materials, and equipment were pre-positioned in advance of impacts from Hurricane Ida, according to DOE.

Utilities typically follow an overall plan to restore service to customers. After power is restored to essential services and facilities critical to public health and safety, crews focus on repairing lines that will return service to the largest number of customers in the least amount of time. Power is restored systematically to neighborhoods, industries, and businesses and then to individual homes and small groups of customers.

Damage assessments are expected to take three days. Restoration efforts will continue to ramp up over the next few days. Estimated times to restoration will begin to be established once damage assessments are complete.

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