LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Entergy is continuing restoration for Lousiana customers, however, those in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes could face weeks without electrical power.
Hurricane Laura caused severe transmission system damage in the two parishes.
Jennings-area customers should be restored by late today. Restoration workers in this area will relocate to help restore service in Lake Charles, and Cameron and Calcasieu parishes.
Based on current assessment reports, Laura’s damage to Entergy’s transmission system has already surpassed that of Hurricane Gustav that hit southeast Louisiana in 2008.
There are seven transmission line corridors feeding into the Lake Charles area, five of which belong to Entergy. All seven have been catastrophically damaged. While not all assessments have been completed, the damage is some of the most severe the company has experienced.
The transmission structure that supports a 500,000-volt line weighs roughly 40,000 pounds. Transporting just one requires three 18-wheeler trucks. For comparison, one 18-wheeler can transport about 50-100 distribution poles.
As more complete damage information is collected, Entergy will continue to develop plans to stabilize their transmission system and build paths from available generation to begin restoring customers.
Entergy says their first priority is to get the first transmission source into Lake Charles re-energized to begin the process of starting available generation units in the area.
For customers to begin receiving power in the Lake Charles area, the transmission lines must first be repaired. Those that received major damage may need to be reconstructed in part. Once the transmission lines are flowing electricity into the city, into the substations then through the distribution lines, homes and businesses will be able to accept power.
Customers with property damage may require special action to speed their restoration:
- If your property has any water damage, please turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. A licensed electrician may need to inspect your property’s electric wiring before Entergy can restore power to a home or business which has water damage from rain or floodwaters.
For customers without property damage:
- Property owners without hurricane damage should still be cautious.
- Look for electrical system damage once power is restored. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or the smell of hot insulation is noticeable, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
- Call a licensed electrician for advice when necessary. Don’t step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker.