‘Catastrophic Damage’: Entire City of New Orleans Loses Power; Water and Sewage System Crippled by Hurricane Ida

New Orleans is facing catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ida Sunday. The storm has been downgraded from a Category 4 to a 3, but the winds, rain and surge have left the entire city without power due to “catastrophic transmission damage” that has also crippled the water and sewage system.

Map shows areas of the City of New Orleans without power as of 7 p.m. CDT.

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Nola.com excerpt:

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A slow-moving Hurricane Ida has left all of Orleans Parish customers without power due to “catastrophic transmission damage,” according to Entergy New Orleans.

The intense storm had caused all eight transmission lines into the New Orleans area to go down, spokesman Brandon Scardigli said in an emailed statement. That created a load imbalance that knocked all power generation in the region offline, Scardigli said.

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From WWL-TV reporter David Hammer, “BREAKING @WWLTV: New Orleans Sewerage Water Board has lost all three feeder lines from Entergy. That means the agency lost 12 megawatts of 60-cycle power to run its newer drainage pumps and is left with only Turbine 6 to make 15 megawatts in-house. #HurricaneIda”

The Sewage and Water Board of New Orleans sent out status update via Twitter:

“Although we have lost all Entergy power, our teams are working quickly and decisively to make up for this with our self-generated power sources, including Turbines 4, 5, and 6 and EMD, as well as backup generators located at our drainage pumping stations. The Entergy loss of power is a significant loss of power for our 60 hz pumps and the 25 hz pumps we power through the frequency changers, but we are using our self-generated sources of power to drain stormwater and pump drinking water into the city. This power loss also impacts our sewer pumping stations. Currently there is no backup power to operate any of those that were impacted. We are assessing how many of the 84 stations are impacted but the number may be very significant. We have worked to obtain backup power for some of these stations we will mobilize those units when it is safe to traverse the city. In order to prevent sewage backups, we have asked residents to limit water usage at home, thus decreasing the amount of wastewater we must remove. This is a rapidly-developing situation. We will keep you updated as circumstances develop. Our Emergency Hotline, 52-WATER, is down. Please call 504-864-8266 if you are experiencing a sewer or water emergency.”

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A local weatherman said this is the worst he has seen, “This is the hardest day of my 30 year career. And tomorrow isn’t looking much better. We are being devastated.”

Major building damage reported, “The roof has blown off New Orleans Municipal and Traffic Court according to Chief Judge Sean Early:
“My opinion, that building will probably be condemned and mowed down…we got it from the ground up, now we’re getting it from the top down.”

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