Power restoration could take up to a week for those affected by Zeta

Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - More than 395,000 Entergy customers are without power this Thursday night.

Cleco says nearly 53,000 of its customers are waiting for service to be restored-- and 13,000 customers of the Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative were without power. Now, just 919 are still without power with the co-op, as of Thursday evening.

For some, power restoration could take up to a week.

Entergy is urging customers to be patient as it works to get the juice back on.

The sunny, crisp weather seemed like a gift after a night of Zeta.

Hundreds of thousands in the metro New Orleans area are without electricity despite Zeta’s brief stay. The bulk of the outages are in New Orleans and neighboring Jefferson Parish.

“Most of the damage we’ve seen is related to vegetation, so trees falling on a line, limbs falling on a line,” said Phillip May, President and CEO of Entergy Louisiana.

Charles Walker watched from his front yard in River Ridge as utility crews replaced utility poles done in by Zeta.

“I was afraid that was going to hit that lady’s house. But I think what stopped it they had a guide wire on it,” Walker said.

And being without electricity has caused him inconveniences, too.

“Without power, it’s hot, can’t sleep. I sleep with a C-PAP machine, I can’t use it, I can’t use it, so it’s hard to sleep,” Walker said.

On North Dupre Street near Orleans Avenue in New Orleans, a utility pole straddled the street and so did its wires.

“If you see a power line, if you see any line down you have to assume that, that line is energized, be safe, stay away from power lines,” May said.

Near Bayou St. John, Rex Poling cleaned up around his house and he has no electricity inside.

“I was here for Gustav and it was miserable. This is actually kind of nice. Good cleanup weather,” Poling said.

“We are in the process of assessing and restoring,” May said.

May says they have 5,000 crews working to restore power and make repairs to infrastructure.

“It’s a process of the most customers we can get on the quickest, so we will be in the process of repairing those areas that can get 5,000, 6,000 customers at a time and then we’ll collapse down to where the smaller number of customers to get on,” May said.

Entergy is also urging people cleaning up their yards to be careful because danger could be under the debris.

“There may be lines that are under that debris that you don’t see that are also very dangerous,” May said.

Entergy is also getting help from some out-of-state crews but notes that Zeta caused outages in a number of other states.

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