Thirty days after Hurricane Ida, the Louisiana Public Service Commission reports nearly eight thousand customers are without power as a result of the Category 4 storm. Entergy Louisiana VP of Distribution Operations John Hawkins said some of their customers are still not able to accept power because of damage to their homes.

“They’re reaching out to us and we’re getting to them as soon as possible. We know how essential electricity is and we want to make sure they have it when they need it so they can continue to rebuild on their lives,” said Hawkins.

Grand Isle and Port Fourchon are amongst the hardest-hit areas and Hawkins said for those coastal communities it is an entire rebuild versus a restoration.  He said crews are working 16-hour days in an effort to give them some normalcy as soon as possible.

“We’re continuing with those efforts; things are progressing pretty well. We set up some generation for some of the customers that are on the island to be able to support and we will continue until we are able to get every last customer restored,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins said while work in those hardest-hit areas will remain ongoing throughout the year, he believes customers will have service long before however they will continue to harden the grid.

Hawkins said part of the restoration includes replacing equipment with more robust gear to withstand hurricane-strength winds of up to 150 miles per hour. A month out from landfall, Hawkins said they wouldn’t have been able to have the lights back on for as many customers as they do without the assistance of out-of-state crews.

“Remember we had a team of more than 26,000 folks from across 41 states that came to support this restoration. And that support allowed us to be able to restore customers quicker,” said Hawkins.

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