Hurricane Zeta: Restoring Power and Overcoming Challenges

Nov. 5, 2020
Linemen rapidly respond after the Category 2 storm knocked out power to 481,000 customers in Louisiana.

Hurricane Zeta, at its peak, knocked out power to 481,000 customers in Louisiana with wind speeds of 110 mph. As of Nov. 2, crews discovered damage to 2,747 poles, 573 transformers and 1,794 spans of wire.

After four days of restoration work, Entergy’s storm team made significant progress in power restoration, returning power to more than 416,000 customers, nearly 90%, affected by Hurricane Zeta.

"We’ve made great strides in restoring power. In fact, nearly 97% of customers in Orleans Parish have been restored; however, we still have work to do. We have a dedicated crew of over 6,000 who are converging on the hardest-hit areas and won’t stop until every customer has their power back on,” said John Hawkins, Entergy’s vice president of distribution operations in Louisiana on Nov. 2. “I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we work to restore power to our communities.”

By Nov. 4, Entergy New Orleans had restored power to all customers that could safely receive it following the hurricane. In Venetian Isles, crews continue to work through replacing broken poles, vegetation issues and debris entangled in electrical lines. Customers in Venetian Isles are expected to be restored by Monday, Nov. 9. 

A Look Back at the Restoration
In some of the hardest-hit areas in the path of Hurricane Zeta, crews found many rear-lot broken poles, which required special equipment to replace and a more time-consuming repair process. Crews have also encountered damage to several terminal poles, which are the poles closest to the substations that deliver power to neighborhoods as well as multiple broken poles that feed multiple circuits. These poles require a more extensive and detailed restoration process.

In addition, accessibility issues requiring specialized equipment to reach the infrastructure have extended restoration times for some customers. Crews continued to work through vegetation issues and debris, including parts of roofs and tree limbs, entangled in electrical lines that needed to be cleared as crews worked on repairing the system. Beyond widespread outages, Zeta caused extensive damage to infrastructure in the coastal areas near where the Category 2 storm made landfall.

For more information, view the Entergy Web site or view the following photo gallery.

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