A whole bunch of 1000’s in Louisiana are nonetheless with out electrical energy. Some might be for weeks: NPR

A man uses a flashlight to help others shop in the dark at a supermarket after the effects of Hurricane Ida cut power in New Orleans. Eric Gay / AP Hide caption

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Eric Gay / AP

A man uses a flashlight to help others shop in the dark at a supermarket after the effects of Hurricane Ida cut power in New Orleans.

Eric Gay / AP

The fierce winds and storm surges of Hurricane Ida have plunged New Orleans and the surrounding areas into darkness, and officials say some residents could be left without power for weeks.

During an update on Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Latoya Cantrell said that eastern New Orleans had some power restored and that residents could expect more grids to be back online by Thursday. However, she did not provide any information about when and where this could happen.

Cantrell, who asked the people’s patience and compassion, stated that the location of substations will be the deciding factor in restoring electricity and power to the city. “So it’s not about choosing a neighborhood. Here are the resources and we can restore power. “

“The issue here is that progress is being made,” she added.

But it is gradual progress by all measure, three days after the storm hit the country. And it does little to ease the daily struggle of hundreds of thousands of residents with power and cell phone failures and gas shortages, while the region is also under a heat warning.

Officials prioritize 911 centers, hospitals, pumping stations

Entergy, the region’s largest electricity company, said its “first recovery priorities are public safety issues and critical facilities like 911 centers, hospitals and pumping stations” on Wednesday.

(Power outages on Monday caused 911 systems to crash for up to 13 hours in New Orleans, St. Charles Parish, and St. Bernard Parish. Those in need of emergency assistance were told to go to a local fire station or flag shut down next policeman.)

Photos: Scenes from the devastating path of Hurricane Ida

According to the PowerOutage.US website, more than 175,000 households and businesses in the Orleans community were still without power as of Wednesday evening.

“At this time we cannot predict when your power supply will be restored,” Entergy told his customers on Twitter. “We will provide an estimated recovery time and other information about your failure as it becomes available. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Important transmission lines have failed. Backup systems too

In a later tweet, Michelle Bourg, the company’s vice president of transmission asset management, explained the root cause of the problem in the damage to eight major transmission lines, which she identified as critical highways.

“They’re bringing electricity to the area to serve our customers and all eight have been put out of service by devastating winds,” Bourg said.

How climate change drives hurricanes like Ida

Another major obstacle, the utility said, is that Ida’s 250 mph winches also severely limited much of the redundancy built into the electrical system.

“This makes it difficult to transport electricity to customers in the region and limits the options for electricity customers in the event of equipment failure or additional damage to the system.

For some residents, it could be without electricity for weeks

Meanwhile, residents of St. Charles Parish, west of New Orleans, face a grimmer future.

“The residents should prepare to be without electricity for at least a month,” warned city officials on Tuesday. According to PowerOutage.US, more than 21,000 households and companies were still without electricity on Wednesday night.

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