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Louisiana Just Spent Weeks Restoring Power After Hurricane Laura. Now, After Hurricane Delta, They're Starting Over.

By Ron Brackett

October 11, 2020

At a Glance

  • Hurricane Laura caused hundreds of thousands of power outages in Louisiana six weeks ago.
  • Seven days ago, one utility said almost everyone had their electricity restored.
  • Delta caused more than 600,000 outages.
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Just seven days after announcing electricity had been restored to as many customers as possible after Hurricane Laura, Entergy Louisiana saw Hurricane Delta knock out power to more than 300,000 homes and businesses.

Across Louisiana, utilities reported more than 600,000 customers had no electricity about 7:30 Saturday morning, according to poweroutage.us. Cleco, for example, said nearly 125,000 of its customers were without power after Delta came ashore as a Category 2 storm Friday evening.

Delta arrived six weeks after Hurricane Laura devastated much of Southwest Louisiana as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 27.

Entergy Louisiana, which provides electric service to more than 1 million customers in the state, said Laura caused more than 440,000 individual outages in Louisiana. Overall, the hurricane impacted more than 900,000 Entergy customers. The storm caused widespread damage to distribution and transmission structures in Louisiana and Texas, the utility said.

(MORE: Delta Saturates Storm-Scarred Louisiana; Hundreds of Thousands Without Power)

About 16,000 linemen and others worked for more than a month in Louisiana to repair the damage and get the power flowing again. On Oct. 1, the company announced electricity was restored to all accessible customers. Any remaining outages couldn't be fixed until homeowners repaired damage at their houses, according to the utility.

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How long it takes to get the lights back on this time is still unknown.

"The extent of damages is not fully known until personnel have had a chance to more fully assess the impact." Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Entergy, told weather.com.

Parent Entergy Corp. said the cost for the repair or replacement of electrical facilities damaged by Laura in Louisiana could reach $1.4 billion. Repairs in Texas could cost another $230 million to $260 million. Overall, the company said, total repair costs could reach $1.7 billion.

(WATCH: First Aerial Images of Louisiana Emerge After Hurricane Delta)

The damage included 14,000 poles, 4,800 transformers, 1,900 transmission structures and more than 300 substations. Entergy said large parts of the underlying transmission system required nearly a complete rebuild.

At a briefing Saturday afternoon, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said damage to infrastructure from Delta appeared to be less severe that that from Laura. On Sunday, Edwards said power had been restored to about 50% of the customers who had experienced an outage.

"We’ll continue assessing damage caused by Hurricane Delta," Nappi said Saturday. "As we learn more about the damage, we will put in place a restoration plan that helps us restore the greatest number of customers safely in the shortest amount of time."

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