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Much of New Orleans could soon see power restored after days in the dark

Biden visits hard-hit Louisiana to survey Ida damage
Biden visits hard-hit Louisiana to survey Ida... 02:28

Some of the more than 1 million Louisiana residents who lost power during Hurricane Ida could soon see it restored after spending nearly a week in the dark. After a complete assessment of New Orleans' damage by electric company Entergy, many neighborhoods in the state's most populated city can expect to have electricity again by Wednesday, the company announced Friday.

"We recognize the hardship this historic storm has wrought on our communities and across our region," Rod West, Entergy's president of utility operations, said Friday in a statement. "We ask that our customers remain safe, and we appreciate their extended patience. Please know that thousands of employees and contractors are currently in the field working day and night to restore power. We will continue working until every community is restored."

Since Ida's landfall on Sunday, nearly 26,000 professionals from across the country have worked to repair infrastructure and assess damage. They have also successfully restored power to approximately 225,000 customers so far, according to Entergy. The Category 4 storm killed at least 10 people in Louisiana before moving to the Northeast, where it unleashed deadly tornadoes and flooding.

While Entergy said it has completed damage assessments for the entirety of New Orleans and for more than 70% of affected areas statewide, it has not yet reached some of the hardest hit areas.

"We are still working to assess damage in those hardest-hit parishes but access remains a challenge," Entergy said. "It could be weeks before these areas are fully restored, but we don't have all the information needed to make that determination." 

Many New Orleans Entergy customers can expect to see power return over the weekend and into next week, except for Venetian Isles along Highway 11, Irish Bayou and Lake Catherine, which isn't expected to see restoration until September 25. 

Entergy said "many customers will be restored before these dates," and that "many of these areas are already having their power restored." 

According to DEMCO — another major power provider in Louisiana — "the majority" of East Baton Rouge is expected to have power restored within the week as well. Customers in Tangipahoa, St. Helena, Ascension and Livingston aren't expected to see electricity again for one to several weeks depending on the area, the provider said Friday. 

"While we certainly have a long way to go, DEMCO has made significant progress toward restoring our members to service following Hurricane Ida," Randy Pierce, DEMCO's CEO and general manager, said in a statement Thursday. "We have very significant damage to our system."

As of Friday afternoon, more than 747,000 customers were still without power in Louisiana, according to national tracking service PowerOutage.US. Nightly curfews, boil water advisories and alcohol sale bans are still in place in some parishes. Evacuees have been asked not to return to New Orleans until further notice.

"We're moving as fast as we can to be able to provide access regardless who your provider was," President Biden said Friday during his first visit to Louisiana since Ida's initial touchdown. He said $100 million has been provided in assistance so far.

"There's nothing political about this," Mr. Biden said. "It's just simply about saving lives and getting people back up and running and we're in this together and so we're not going to leave any community behind." 

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