Hurricane Laura: Around 400,000 without power in Louisiana as storm moves inland

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    A power line is repaired along LA-59 in advance of Hurricane Laura in Mandeville, La. Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

    More than 120,000 Entergy customers in Louisiana were without power Thursday morning, Aug. 27, 2020, after Hurricane Laura slammed southwest Louisiana and east Texas. The outages are indicated in red. (Image via Entergy Louisiana)

    A power line is repaired along LA-59 in advance of Hurricane Laura in Mandeville, La. Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (Photo by Max Becherer, NOLA.com, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

    Hurricane Laura knocked out power for more than 400,000 people Thursday morning in Louisiana and the numbers were climbing.

    Entergy Louisiana reported outages for 182,000 customers statewide as of 8.30 a.m, with the numbers rising throughout the morning. The biggest outage was in Calcasieu Parish — more than than 83,000 customers — after Hurricane Laura barreled through southwestern Louisiana and east Texas. 

    David Freese, spokesman for the utility company, described the restoration efforts as “a marathon rather than a sprint.”

    Louisiana was spared some of the worst-case storm surge and widespread flooding that forecasters said was likely from Hurricane Laura, state o…

    He said nearly 9,000 contractors and linemen at staging sites were awaiting the opportunity to get to work, once it is considered safe to do so. They come from 20 states. But he said in some cases, repair efforts will be slowed because the storm may have carried equipment away.

    About 5,600 workers will be restoring service in Louisiana and the rest will be working in east Texas.

    Cleco said that as of 8.30 a.m. almost 129,000 of its nearly 285,000 customers statewide were without power.

    Rapides, Evangeline, Iberia, and Avoyelles were the worst hit parishes in terms of the numbers of Cleco customers served, with about 80,000 without power across those four parishes.

    Another 11 parishes had more than 90% of customers without power, including Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, and Vernon.

    Cleco said it had deployed a total of 1,900 to respond to outages caused by Laura. This including 1,300 distribution line mechanics and vegetation specialists and 100 transmission contractors.

    The power outages had left many parishes completely without internet connectivity, severely disrupting communications in the affected areas. AT&T, Cameron Communications, and SuddenLink Communications customers in Lake Charles, Cameron, and Alexandria were without connection, according to Netblocks, an independent consumer activist group that monitors connectivity. Customers in Lafayette, Sulphur and New Iberia also were severely affected, with more than half without internet connection in those areas.

    At least 12,000 Lafayette Utility System customers in Lafayette were without power as of 6 a.m. Thursday, the company said.

    Winds need to drop below 39 mph before repair work can start, LUS said in a statement. Once that happens, crews will start on restoration of transmission lines to distribution substations.

    As of 5:30 a.m., government officials and first responders were unable to assess the damage in Lafayette because it was still too risky for workers to be on the road, according to Lafayette Consolidated Government spokesman Jamie Angelle.

    He said said some busy intersections were flooded and impassable in Lafayette and Scott. Road conditions elsewhere were not known.

    « I can tell you right now, Ambassador Caffery at Dulles is underwater, » he said, as was Eraste Landry.

    Interstate 10 from the Atchafalaya to Texas was closed Wednesday night, and Angelle said « as far as I know » it still was at 5:30 a.m.

    « We’re still under a curfew for another 30 minutes, » he said. « Conditions are pretty tough. We have to let the winds settle down. »

    Angelle said he has heard no immediate reports about loss of life or substantial damage, but it was too early to tell.

    He said about 165 line workers and 58 tree trimmers from out of town would be in Lafayette to help LUS restore power, when the weather permits.

    Laurent said SLEMCO crews were repairing lines, some damaged by downed branches, Wednesday night until winds exceeded 35 mph.

    She said about 300 out-of-state workers were coming to Acadiana to assist SLEMCO’s 250 field crew members in resuming repairs as soon as it is safe.

    More than 120,000 Entergy customers in Louisiana were without power Thursday morning, Aug. 27, 2020, after Hurricane Laura slammed southwest Louisiana and east Texas. The outages are indicated in red. (Image via Entergy Louisiana)

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    First responders are discovering how much destruction Hurricane Laura inflicted on coastal communities after making landfall around 1 a.m.



    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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