25% of power outages remain after energy infrastructure takes major hit from Laura

25% of power outages remain after energy infrastructure takes major hit from Laura
Gov. John Bel Edwards (left) will be joined by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette (right) for a virtual news conference on the status of Louisiana's oil and gas industries in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Source: Office of the Louisiana Governor)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards held a virtual news conference alongside U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette Wednesday, Sept. 9. to discuss Hurricane Laura’s longterm impacts on the energy industry in the state.

The governor and the energy secretary first held a roundtable discussion with leaders from southwest Louisiana and the energy industry.

Both Edwards and Brouillette stressed that Hurricane Laura has been a tremendous hit to the state of Louisiana. The energy industry in Louisiana is driver for not only the state, but the entire world.

More than 600,000 customers were without power across the state after the hurricane made landfall Aug. 27, according to Edwards. Power has been restored to roughly 75% of those individuals, but the remaining 25% could take some time before getting restoration is complete.

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More than 1000 towers were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Laura. The magnitude of the work needed to restore them is what is preventing the final round of progress. Experts predict it could take a couple more weeks before full power restoration is complete.

The response to the energy effort has included linemen from 23 states with roughly 30,000 employees from around the country.

The governor also warned residents in southwest Louisiana to be cautious when using generators and cleaning up storm debris. He announced Tuesday the death toll from Hurricane Laura had risen to 26.

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