As Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana near New Orleans with a slow pace, it has left all of Orleans Parish customers without power due to "catastrophic transmission damage," according to Entergy New Orleans.
Hurricane Ida is Now a Category 4 at US Southern
Ida made landfall twice Sunday, around noon at Port Fourchon and near Galliano around 2 p.m. as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. Since then, the storm has weakened slightly as it has moved ashore with winds of 120 miles per hour.
The intense storm had caused all eight transmission lines into the New Orleans area to go down, according to Entergy spokesman Brandon Scardigli. That created a load imbalance that knocked all power generation in the region offline, Scardigli said.
The company is working to "assess a path forward to restore power to those who can take it" - apparently meaning those who hadn't lost electricity for other reasons during the storm - but those repairs would not be completed Sunday night, Scardigli said.
A report from the Department of Homeland Security indicated that the only power in the city was coming from generators. No further information was immediately available.
During Hurricane Gustav which hit the area in 2008, nearly all of Entergy's transmission lines into the city failed, and regulators and elected officials strongly criticized the company for the poor condition of its grid. Of the 14 lines that brought power to New Orleans at the time, 13 failed.
Before the power company's announcement, Ida had left more than 614,000 Entergy customers in Louisiana without power as of Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
The National Hurricane Center reported at 7 p.m. that the eye of the storm was roughly 25 miles southwest of New Orleans and 55 miles southeast of Baton Rouge, moving northwest at 10 mph.
The highest affected areas for power outages were Jefferson and Orleans parishes, where around 372,000 Entergy customers were without power at 7 p.m. due to the high winds that have been ravaging the area since Sunday morning.