Crews with Entergy Corp. and other utilities from around the nation are mobilized inside Louisiana to deal with the massive outages caused by Hurricane Laura.
The storm made landfall late Wednesday with winds above 100 miles per hour and maintaining a Category 2 status even as it roared north toward Arkansas. Some estimates said close to 500,000 residents are already suffering outages in addition to major infrastructural and property damage.
An Energy press release from Wednesday noted that personnel were evacuated from the areas where Laura would hit most ferociously, such as Cameron Parish. Outage durations likely would be extensive.
“We are in contact with other utilities and contract workers to pre-position as many out-of-state utility crews as possible to quickly move in to help restore service,” reads the Entergy statement. “We have 9,834 restoration workers currently ready to restore service for customers whose power may be affected by Laura. These resources include company employees, contractors and mutual aid resources numbering 322 in Mississippi, 5,690 in Louisiana and 3,765 in Texas.”
Crews also are arriving to help with restoration from utilities in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Hurricane Laura hit the coast of Laura as a Category 4 storm, perhaps the worst in a century, according to AP and other news reports. It slammed into Lake Charles, in particular.
Earlier this year, Entergy began commercial operations of its new gas-fired Lake Charles power station. The 980-MW combined cycle plant is one of three that Entergy has completed or is building near the Louisiana coast and in Texas.