New Orleans area could be without power for weeks

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office says power company crews were doing a damage assessment of its power grid, but that it appeared the damage was “catastrophic.”

Officials were estimating Monday that it could be weeks for full restoration in some areas.

As of Monday morning, there were more than 1,000,000 power outages in Louisiana. More than 2,000 miles of transmission lines were out of service Monday, along with 216 substations, according to the power provider, Entergy.

Entergy said crews were assessing damage to help the company “get a better idea of what we’re dealing with.”

“It would be premature to speculate at this time when power will be restored given the extent of the damage,” the company said.

Entergy has more than 11,000 workers ready to restore service, and expects that number to increase to 20,000, it said. The company is booking hotel rooms and preparing to move mobile sleeping units to house the thousands of workers in areas hard-hit by the storm. 

With power likely to be out for weeks, John Pope said he would survive without electricity — with help from neighbors who have a generator — until a scheduled trip out of town next week.

Ehab Meselhe, a professor in Tulane’s engineering school, planned to head out of town once he and his wife finished cleaning up the tree branches and limbs littering their yard. “I have another house in Lafayette,” he said. “Once power is back, we’ll come back.”

A few blocks away, Hank Fanberg stuffed hurricane debris into a garbage back as generators roared on either side of his lightly damaged house. He said neighbors on both sides have generators and they have both already offered, “so we’re going to be in good shape in terms of some electricity.”

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