NewsCovering Louisiana


Entergy strengthening electric system in hard-hit coastal communities

Posted at 1:35 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 14:35:59-04

More than 2,000 Entergy customers remain without electric services in areas where Hurricane Ida hit the hardest, officials say.

Crews are continuing to set new poles, hang new wire, and install new hardware in an effort to repair and strengthen the electric system in coastal communities like Port Fourchon and Grand Isle.

"I want to assure our customers in these communities that we'll continue giving it our all, to not only restore power, but also strengthen the electric system ahead of future storms," said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO.

While service has been restored to most customers in Port Fourchon who can receive it, Entergy is working to increase the resiliency of the area's electric system by installing equipment that meets the most up-to-date design standards. This includes utility poles for critical powerlines that are able to withstand 150 mph winds. The wood poles Entergy installs today are generally 60-140% stronger "in relation to bending moments" than the poles Entergy would have used 5-10 years ago, officials say. This is part of the effort to strengthen the distribution system in coastal areas.

The first lights were restored in Grand Isle by September 15 through temporary generators, which powered places like grocery stores, lodging, and emergency/government operations. Entergy plans to deploy more generators and supply more portions of the island as crews continue to work on the main power source.

Work is being done to increase the resiliency of the electric grid serving Grand Isle as well, including setting poles inside steel pipes 15 feet into the ground along main thoroughfares to offset the island's sandy foundation.

"The storm may have knocked us down," added May, "But together, we'll continue to pick up the pieces and stand again, stronger than before."

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