The city of New Orleans lost all power Sunday, during the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. All eight electricity transmission lines went down during the storm. In addition, a large electricity tower went down and fell into the Mississippi River.
New Orleans Without Power For A Number of Days At Least
New Orleans and nearby Jefferson parish will have to go without power for at least a few days.
It remains unclear how many days are needed to repair the lines and bring back the tower. Thus, residents are facing the prospects of enduring the summer heat and the hurricane season for a few days or weeks without electricity.
The outage also puts in jeopardy the plan to use the present power provider, Entergy, as the contractor for the city’s drainage system. Admittedly, New Orleans ’ antiquated turbines operate the Sewerage and Water Board does need upgrading.
However, Entergy’s capability comes into question given that the city’s entire power system went down during the hurricane.
Power Outage Expected To Last Days
In the meantime, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents to stay in their homes. Meanwhile, New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said they will “anti-looting” officers while the outage continues.
The full details of what went wrong with the transmission system were not yet known. Investigating the matter will take some time as continued strong winds from Ida prevented inspection crews from working.
However, nobody expected the collapse of the Entergy transmission tower into the Mississippi River. The tower located at the Nine Mile Point plant did not withstand Ida’s powerful winds.
Instead, it fell into the Mississippi where it remains there today. Joe Valenti, Jefferson parish director of emergency management, sees considerable work ahead. He said that recovering the tower and the power lines from the water is “a considerable undertaking.”
Danger Not Yet Over
Hurricane Ida, which descended into Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, claimed its first casualty. A 60-year old male died in Ascension Parish when a tree fell into his home. Despite the storm weakening, the danger is not yet over for some residents.
A levee failed in the town of Jean Lafitte in Jefferson Parish. As a result, over 200 residents are in imminent danger of flooding. The National Weather Service local offices warned Jefferson Parish residents to “move to higher ground now! This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation.”
Meanwhile, New Orleans remains in darkness as the power outage continues. Electric utilities reported more than a million homes and businesses remain without power. Entergy, which handles around 200,000 customers, confirmed that the entire city is without electricity.
It is said that the “catastrophic damage” to its transmission system is the main culprit. Entergy also confirmed that they cannot restore power by Sunday night.
16th Anniversary of Katrina
Coincidentally, Louisiana is also marking the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the state in 2005. This year, New Orleans officials said they were confident that the new levees systems can withstand Ida.
As New Orleans marks the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, those who remain braced for the worst, and New Orleans officials said they were confident that their levee systems would withstand the storm.
“We’re very confident in a way that we have never, as a community, been before. It’s a different time. It’s a different place,” said Ramsey Green, the deputy chief administrative officer for infrastructure. “And we’ve had 16 years to really protect our city from what occurred tragically on this date 16 years ago,” he said.
Watch the KHOU11 video reporting that Hurricane Ida knocks out power to the entire city of New Orleans:
What do you think happened with New Orleans’ power system? Who should take the blame for an entire city losing power? What do you think can be done to prevent this from happening again?
Tell us what you think. Share your comments in the comments section below.