Many still without power fear Nicholas could hold up restoration efforts

Those with power back, fear it could be knocked out again.
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 9:41 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As more people get their power restored, there’s a fear Nicholas could knock it all out again or hold up restoration efforts to areas that have been without power for over two weeks.

“Norco is struggling. I don’t think a lot of people know how bad it was in this little town,” Victoria Bourg said.

Although Bourg is worried her tarps will hold through Nicholas, she has a generator and considers her family fortunate.

“All my kids friends are completely displaced, kids are having a really tough time with it,” Bourg said. “People lost whole chunks of roofs. If you look down the street you just see the amount of debris, really, if you go down Wild Rose, you know, it’s just looks like a wasteland.”

Norco in St. Charles Parish, like many others, is now on day 16 without power.

“I don’t even know what day it is anymore,” Bourg said.

Bourg is hopeful since Entergy moved their restoration date up from the 29th, but crews working with a darkened sky as the backdrop doesn’t make for a convincing picture.

“The scary thought is it’s just gonna knock power right again and we’ll be back at square one,” Bourg said.

Nextdoor, Stephen Weber was rejoicing with a neighbor who got a text saying power may come back overnight, just in time for the worst of the weather.

“The power goes out, we’ll just resort back to the plan that we’ve been working on, if the power comes on though, there’s a lot of things that we can get done around here and I’m sure everybody down the street, my neighbors, can get done,” Weber said.

Weber has significant damage and is struggling to keep ahead of the mold.

“Now we had the first substantial rain from Nicholas, we’re realizing tarps don’t do a great job,” Weber said.

All this rain is creating a soggy mess and Entergy says more trees are bound to come down in the next few days. The wind is also a big concern when it comes to restoration efforts.

“Our crews they can’t put their buckets in the air when the winds are above 30 miles an hour so, that that requires us to stop some restoration, and then also if there’s any lightning that comes with this weather front, we have to shelter in place,” Vice President of Entergy Distribution Operation, John Hawkins, said.

Entergy says the tens of thousands of linemen already out on the roads will help with whatever Nicholas brings our way.

“That will compliment and helps us support any new outages that we have,” Hakwins said. “So, we will address those immediately, restoring power to those customers and then also continue to balance that with the restoration and rebuild.”

Meanwhile, Norco will continue to take care of their own.

“We help people,” Weber said, “People are really helping each other and it’s been overwhelming to watch.”

In St. Charles Parish, as of 9:00 A.M. Tuesday, 14,525 or 63-percent of customers remain without power.

Entergy says: “While the estimated date of restoration is September 29, we expect to begin powering critical facilities and other social infrastructure within the parish in advance of this date. We expect to continue this focus while we expand to residential areas and restore power to the parish.”

FOX 8 has gotten some questions about the Avondale, Bridge City and Westwego area in Jefferson Parish. Here is an excerpt from Entergy’s restoration timeline as of 9/14 @ 9:00 A.M. :

In the heavy hit areas in and around the location of the downed transmission tower in Avondale, Bridge City and some of Westwego, the restoration date has been extended due to several factors:

The removal of the destroyed transmission tower and lines in the Mississippi River had to be coordinated with local and governmental agencies to ensure everyone’s safety. The all clear to perform restoration work in this area was not completed until Monday, Sept. 6, which was eight days after Hurricane Ida’s landfall. In addition to the transmission system damages, the lower voltage electric distribution system damages were extensive with challenging environmental conditions requiring off road work and track equipment.

As it relates to power restoration:

  • Many of the affected customers in Bridge City/Ninemile Point between Bridge City Avenue and the Mississippi River have been restored.
  • Our goal is to restore approximately 1,400 customers in Avondale along Highway 90 and Jamie Boulevard as well as 1,800 customers in Westwego and Bayou Signette by Tuesday, Sept. 14.
  • Also, our goal is to restore Barataria and Crown Point in the lower portion of Jefferson Parish by Friday, Sept. 17.

For all other Parishes, including more on St. Charles, click HERE.

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