Two days later Hurricane Ida broke out, and New Orleans and its environs were almost completely without electricity. Lewis, Floodwall, Floodgate, Pumps and other protections prevented massive flooding, but Ida broke eight transmission lines in the city, plunging nearby parishes into darkness. Restarting the lights will be a difficult process that doesn’t have a clear timeline yet – but it starts with a huge rebuilding effort.
On Monday, the storm had about a million customers in Louisiana and about 50,000 customers in southern Mississippi. Regional Electric Utility Enterprise said Tuesday that it has already restored electricity to thousands of customers and that there is still 840,000 in Louisiana and 25,000 in Mississippi.
Enterji and other local utilities say they will need a few days for initial scouting and debris removal while monitoring the situation. “Electricity is virtually non-existent for most people in southeastern Louisiana,” said Governor John Bell Edwards. Said Monday evening. “I can’t tell you when I’m going to restore power and I’ll tell you when all the debris will be cleared, and repaired, and so on.” Edwards Repetition There is no word on when the power will return to his office on Tuesday.
Utilities warn that it may take three weeks or more for each customer to recover electricity, an estimate based on previous recovery times, such as Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and Isaac in 2012. Ability to return across territory.
Repeated disasters mean that utilities have recovery playbooks for storms like Idar. But knowing in what order those plays will run depends entirely on the unique conditions behind each hurricane – which areas remain accessible for days due to flooding and which specific components of the system require extensive repairs.
The damage assessment began with extensive efforts from more than 20,000 utility workers, a force drawn from both local employees and reinforcements from other utilities across the country. In addition to driving to inspect equipment along every inch of the local power line, workers must assess failures and losses at power stations, voltage transformer stations and substations. The crew used drones and helicopters to conduct air surveys. And while they wait for the floodwaters to recede, they begin to take a boat for the underwater damage.
One of the most important elements of assessment in IDA recovery is the condition of the transmission system. The main transmission lines form the backbone of a power grid, providing high-voltage power over long distances connecting power plants to power plants that supply customers with local power lines.
There are eight of these high-voltage transmission lines in New Orleans; Enterji said Tuesday that it is still working to understand the failures of each of them. In parallel, the company is working to repair its power plant; Ideally, they are ready to generate electricity when the transmission system is able to supply it. Enterprise says it is also exploring the possibility of using local generators to feed power lines directly without the need for a fully operated transmission system.
Just outside New Orleans, a tall transmission tower, also known as a fake tower, collapsed as a result of strong winds in Eder on Sunday night. The tower, which stood memorabilia during Hurricane Katrina, dropped its power lines and conductor as it collapsed into the Mississippi River. The crew will have to rebuild the tower and replace all of its equipment, a time-consuming construction process. Depending on the condition of the other transmission lines, the project may be a choke point or one of many parallel efforts.
“Damage from Hurricane Ida has removed much of the redundancy created in the transmission system, making it difficult for customers to move electricity around the region,” Enterji said. Statement On tuesday.