HURRICANE IDA

Hurricane Ida power outages: which areas are affected?

The storm has caused enormous destruction across Louisiana and Mississippi with roughly one million New Orleans residents currently without electricty.

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Hurricane Ida power outages: which areas are affected?
SCOTT OLSON AFP

Hurricane Ida has caused chaos in Louisiana and Mississippi after tearing through areas of the two southern states in recent days. As of 31 August, four people had lost their lives to the storm and many more were injured when a highway collapsed in Mississippi.

In New Orleans residents have already suffered two days without power after the severe hurricane damage in south-east Louisiana caused widespread outages. The extent of the damage, and the difficulty of restoring power amid an ongoing crisis, has caused concern as the temperature rises.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory as the mercury reached 90F (32C), warning that “the absence of some basic services amid high heat indices can make the situation very acute.”

New Orleans hope to get power back in the coming days

Exactly 16 years since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the south, Hurricane Ida came ashore and brought its own path of destruction. The Category Four hurricane hit New Orleans on Sunday and knocked out all eight transmission lines which provide power for the city.

This has seen more than one million Louisiana residents plunged into darkness, but there is hope that power could be up and running before the end of the week.

Speaking the CNBC on Tuesday, Entergy group president Rod West said: “We are making progress on the damage assessment front. We do expect to be in a position to bring transmission facilities into service within the next day or so. That will give us an opportunity to begin bringing some of the lights on in New Orleans in the coming days.”

West added that there are currently “16,000 to 20,000 people working to restore power”.

Long-term impact could cost billions

While energy providers are hopeful of getting the power lines reconnected fairly quickly, the outlook is less optimistic for Louisiana’s refineries and production plants. Analysts have told Reuters that it could take two to three weeks for these platforms to resume their output.

For example, energy manufacturing company Phillips 66 admitted that they haven’t yet been able to carry out a damage assessment on their massive 255,600-barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery on the Mississippi River in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Across the country, the Department of Energy has estimated that 2.3 million bpd of processing capacity, roughly 13% of the national total, was disrupted by Ida. It is thought that the total economic cost of the hurricane could reach as much as $80 billion after the oil industry and related supply chains were knocked out.