Louisiana grapples with power outages as Ida’s death toll rises | Weather News


Still reeling from Hurricane Ida, residents of the US state of Louisiana now face the challenge of finding generators or fuel to power them due to persistent power outages as a business Energetic warned that it could take weeks to fully restore power to harsh conditions. affected areas.

Ida’s extreme winds, which made landfall in Louisiana as a Category Four hurricane last weekend, cut power to more than a million homes and businesses across the state before to bring torrential rains and flooding to New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas.

Many gas stations in Louisiana remain without power, preventing them from functioning and making it more difficult for residents to fill generators.

“I had to wait about 40 minutes (today),” Aaron Lowe, a 49-year-old construction worker, told Reuters news agency in New Orleans, where he was lined up at a station- service to wait for gasoline for a third party. straight day.

“I’ve waited between two and four hours in the past two days,” Lowe said.

It could take until the end of the month to fully restore power to some of the hardest-hit areas of the state, the Entergy Louisiana chief said on Saturday.

Ida damaged or destroyed more than 22,000 utility poles, more than Hurricanes Katrina, Zeta and Delta combined. At least 5,200 transformers failed and nearly 26,000 spans of wire – the stretch of transmission wires between the poles – failed.

“The level of devastation makes it quite difficult or nearly impossible to access and fully assess some places,” said Entergy President and CEO Phillip May of five parishes in Southeast Louisiana. faced with the longest delays.

The company is planning a full-power restore by September 29 or even longer for some customers, although May said it was an “at the latest” date in hopes of a restore. earlier.

As of Saturday morning, power was restored to more than 327,000 customers, Entergy said.

“Restoration continues where it is safe to do so and where electricity can be received,” the company said in a statement. declaration. “The damage assessments are almost complete, only the bayou area of ​​Louisiana remains to be assessed. “

About a quarter of New Orleans residents have been restored, including all of the city’s hospitals, and the city’s 27 substations are ready to serve customers, said Deanna Rodriguez, CEO of Entergy New Orleans.

But the hard-hit parts of the state are still struggling to restore a sense of normalcy.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city will offer transportation starting Saturday for any resident wishing to leave the city and go to a public shelter. It has already started moving some residents from retirement homes.

Governor John Bel Edwards announced that he would visit the parishes of St Tammany, St Helena and Livingston on Saturday to assess the damage caused by the storm.

US President Joe Biden visited Louisiana a day earlier, pledging more federal aid to the state.

“Super storms are going to come and they’re going to come more fiercely,” said Biden, who linked the force of the hurricane to climate change. “It’s not about being a Democrat or a Republican. We are Americans and we will go through this together.

The death toll increases

The death toll from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana also rose to nine on Saturday, with two other nursing home residents evacuated among the confirmed dead, authorities said.

The new deaths involved people evacuated to a warehouse in Tangipahoa parish which is currently under state investigation after reports of squalid conditions.

“Unfortunately, we can also now confirm 2 more deaths among residents of nursing homes who had been evacuated to the Tangipahoa facility,” the Louisiana Department of Health tweeted. “This brings the death toll of nursing home residents evacuated to this facility to 6,” he said.

Meanwhile, the northeastern US states began Labor Day weekend digging through debris left by the deadly deluge that killed more than 44 people and caused public transportation to stop. At New York.

Local operators have promised to restore some lines before the start of the working week on Tuesday.

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