Entergy and mutual aid crews from utilities around the country by this morning had restored power to nearly a quarter of the 615,000 customers who lost electricity service in the wake of Hurricane Laura this week.
As of Friday morning, nearly 145,000 customers who lost power were restored. Those included 244,600 in Louisiana, nearly 183,000 in Texas and almost 45,000 in Mississippi and Arkansas combined.
The Lake Charles area experienced extensive damage. Areas around Jennings and Lafayette also experienced power outages. In Texas, the Port Arthur/Beaumont areas were heavily damaged, with significant outages extending north into Hardin County.
“We use advanced technology, like infrared cameras, drones and satellite imagery to assess damage by foot, vehicles, airboats, highwater vehicles and helicopters,” reads the latest public statement by Entergy. “Assessment could take up to three days. Our scouts are assessing damage to determine the exact cause of your outage and how long it will take to correct the problem.
“While we are assessing damage, we will continue restoring service where it is safe to do so.”
Hurricane Laura inflicted substantial damage on Entergy’s transmission system. Preliminary estimates indicate that 1,800 miles of transmission lines and 205 substations were impacted.
Given the storm’s intensity–it was Category 4 when it made landfall and considered perhaps the worst in a century–total restoration could take weeks, the utility warned.
“In addition, restoration may be hampered by flooding, blocked access or other obstacles.”
Crews poured into Entergy’s service territory from utilities in 28 states. Entergy is deploying or has access to more than 21,000 restoration crew members.
Impacting progress in Lake Charles is a chemical fire at a plant in the city of Westlake that forced road closures and increased drive times for some crews who were instructed to avoid the area for their safety.