IBEW members from 32 states aid in recovery following Hurricane Ida

On Aug. 30, on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and Baton Rouge were hit with yet another devastating storm –– Hurricane Ida. Throughout the day, the city was battered with winds upwards of 140 mph and intense rain bands that led to flooding throughout the area.

The storm left much of the Louisiana and Mississippi coast without power and left many people underwater. The storm has knocked out power for every customer in New Orleans after the eight transmission lines that for the city sustained significant damage.

“There are eight transmission lines that feed power to the city of New Orleans that have sustained damage,” Deanna Rodriguez, president, and CEO of Entergy New Orleans said. “The catastrophic damage of the storm that hung over west of here caused a lot of damage to the transmission lines that feed New Orleans,” Rodriguez said.

There are over 2,000 miles of power lines that will need to be repaired. If stretched across the country that would be like stretching power lines from New York to Utah. More than one million, and perhaps as many as two million  people were left without power.

Some 25,000 linemen from 32 states, many from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), have been deployed to the region to help with restoration efforts.

However, city officials have warned residents in New Orleans it could be weeks before they get the power back on.

Crews will first need to assess the damage and prioritize jobs. For example, they will prioritize getting a hospital back on before a single-family home. And they will need to remove whatever debris is on or blocking the lines before they can make repairs.

Employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are helping to assess damage.

(Edited and reprinted from UCOMM Blog.)

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