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More than 1m people in Louisiana are preparing for the third day of a power outage after power plants struggled to reconnect power lines that had been torn down by Hurricane Ida, with some warning that the shutdown would last for weeks.
Ida fell Sunday with a wind speed of up to 150mph. The storm severely damaged long-distance power transmission systems, with local workers at Entergy saying that more than 2,000 volumes of networks had been shut down.
All eight shipping cables to New Orleans were disconnected by storm. A house on the Mississippi River that was hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was destroyed by Ida.
Many in southern Louisiana did not have the power to operate air conditioners and refrigerators even though weather monitors issued a heat warning system for Wednesday afternoon.
Power outages have also hampered hurricane efforts, disrupted water and sanitation services, and telephone calls in some areas. Local hospitals, already expanded by amount of Covid-19 cases, relied on emergency generators.
Extras will continue to monitor the extent of the damage. Biden officials said they helped use drones and other equipment to speed up the search, but a New Orleans-based company was warned it can take days before they can figure out when the power will be restored, and “customers in the worst-affected areas should expect the electricity to be switched off for several weeks”.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Entergy said 865,000 customers in Louisiana and Mississippi had remained powerless, while 85,000 had regained power. In addition to all the requirements, more than 1m customers in Louisiana are still employed, according to PowerOutage.US.
Officials working for the government and government agencies are under a lot of pressure because of the long-awaited disappearance. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana’s ambassador, said workers in the 20,000 lines had been sent to test the damage and repair the power supply, adding that he had pressured the company’s management to “make sure they knew this was the most important thing”.
Officials in St Charles Parish in southeastern Louisiana, where oil is sourced from Royal Dutch Shell in Norco, have warned their citizens that they could be powerless for one month. Black smoke may appear to be emitted by natural gas burners, which the company said in a Facebook post can be expected until power is restored.
“I know I’m not satisfied with 30 days, Entergy people aren’t satisfied with 30 days, no one wants power is satisfied with this,” Edwards told a news conference at St John the Baptist Parish, about 30 miles west of New Orleans, Tuesday.
Joshua Rhodes, a researcher at Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin, said restoring energy in the region would take longer than Katrina.
“It took about two weeks for the virus to be transmitted online after Katrina passed and their homes did not collapse. These may take a long time to re-energize, ”said Rhodes. “I doubt it was. . . another tower more than 1,600 feet[400 m]outside if they can stand on their own. ”
Authorities in states and territories were opening up dormitories for homeless people.
At St John the Baptist Parish there were “brave, courageous people, many of whom chose not to leave,” Edwards said. “I hope this will change in the coming days, because they have found that their homes are not being empowered anytime soon and they have been destroyed.”