Utility Poles and Dristribution Wires Block a Road Following Hurricane Laura. It will take weeks to fully rebuild local distribution grids in Louisiana and Texas, according to Edison Electric VP Scott Aaronson.
More than 1 Million People Without Power in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas
Upwards of 300,000 utility customers or an estimated 1 million people remain without power in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas nearly a week after Hurricane Laura devastated the region. Calcasieu County, Louisiana still had 103,000 utility customers or an estimated 250,000 people without power as of 11:00 AM this morning. Calcasieu County is home to Lake Charles where Hurricane Laura made Landfall on August 27.
Vernon County, Louisiana and Orange County, Texas had 47,000 customers or approximately 117,000 people without power. Arkansas still had 2600 customers without power this morning.
Power outages also persist in Virginia and North Carolina following Hurricane Isaias with up to 20,000 residents still without power. In California, the wildfires have left 45,000 people without power.
President Donald Trump visited affected areas with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Texas Governor Greg Abbot on August 29. The President approved Federal Disaster Relief funding for Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas.
Utility crews continue working on restoration, but the devastation in the region extends to the power grid. In many cases, the local and regional distribution grid requires rebuilding.
Hurricane Laura was a powerful category 4 hurricane with sustained winds that reached 150 MPH. The hurricane brough storm surge, heavy rain, tornadoes, and widespread power outages to southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. Arkansas also experienced hurricane-force wind but was not subjected to the storm surge.
According to a Fox Business News Report, Edison Electric Institute Vice President Scott Aaronson said that crews must rebuild “hundreds” of towers and reconnect poles and lines before turning the power back on. Residents looking to return to Lake Charles, LA and the surrounding area should be aware that power outages will persist for weeks. Municipal water treatment plants took a beating and it may be some time before the water is safe to drink.
According to Accuweather.com, 30,000 people from all over the United States and Canada have offered to help with restoration efforts.
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said the harsh new reality would continue for days and probably weeks.
The death toll attributed to Hurricane Laura has risen to 19 with some deaths attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning and others to falling trees and cleanup efforts.
Never run a generator indoors under any circumstances. Carbon Monoxide is a deadly byproduct of internal combustion engines. Indoor use can be fatal within few minutes. At least eight people have died because they ran their generator inside. Generators are safe when operated correctly. Follow all manufacturer safety guidelines. Keep generators 15-20 feet from the house where the wind won’t blow exhaust against the house or a neighboring house.
Here are scenes of total destruction across the east side of Lake Charles, LA from #HurricaneLaura. We have organized a list of reputable charities if you are interested in helping with the recovery effort: https://t.co/oqGQLRYP7c pic.twitter.com/1LxPaE3g3q— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) August 29, 2020