Hurricane Laura: Bringing Power Back to Louisiana

Sept. 2, 2020
Linemen will rebuild the first transmission line into the Lake Charles, Louisiana, area in two weeks. Here's a look at the destruction and rebuilding effort.

After Hurricane Laura's 150 mph sustained winds inflicted catastrophic damage to Entergy's transmission system, a storm team of more than 8,300 workers is on the ground in southwest Louisiana to rebuild the power grid. 

According to Entergy, all nine transmission lines delivering power into the Lake Charles, Louisiana, area, are all out of service as a result of storm damage. Transmission structures were damaged beyond repair, and linemen are in the process of replacing these structures. In the next two weeks, Entergy Louisiana plans to energize the first of its transmission lines. 

“Energizing the first transmission source into the area is an important milestone in our ability to power the recovery of the local community,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “This is not a restoration. It’s almost a complete rebuild of our transmission and distribution system that serves Calcasieu and Cameron parishes.”

For a video of the damage and restoration process, please see the video clip below provided by Entergy. 

Southwest La Hurricane Laura Damage and Restoration from Entergy on Vimeo.

Beyond the first transmission line, Entergy is also working on reenergizing other transmission facilities like power plants so it can restart power generation sources within the Lake Charles, Louisiana, area and power critical community infrastructure and essential services. 

The linemen are focusing on rebuilding the transmission lines as well as restoring substations and the distribution system. Meanwhile, Entergy is exploring the possibility of enabling generators to begin producing electricity to "jump-start the power flow in Lake Charles." 

For an inside look at the damage caused by Hurricane Laura as well as the restoration, see the following photo gallery. You can also see the stats from the storm below. 

A breakdown of the damaged infrastructure in southwest Louisiana includes:

  • About 1,000 transmission structures
  • 6,637 broken poles
  • 2,926 transformers
  • 338 miles of downed distribution wire

The statewide breakdown of distribution system damages includes:

  • 8,436 poles
  • 3,434 transformers
  • 463 miles of downed wire
About the Author

Amy Fischbach | Amy Fischbach, EUO Contributing Editor

Amy Fischbach is the contributing editor for the Electric Utility Operations section of Transmission and Distribution World. She worked for Prism Business Media (now Penton) for eight years, most recently as the managing editor of Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro magazine. She is now working as a freelance writer and editor for B2B magazines. Amy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.She serves as the national vice president of the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She can be reached at [email protected].

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