Ida destroyed or damaged more than 22,000 power poles. This is more than the combined impact of hurricanes Katrina and Zeta. Phillip May, President and CEO of Entergy, called it "staggering." Nearly 26,000 wire spans (the length of transmission wire between poles) were also down.
May said that "the level of devastation makes obtaining access and fully assessing some places difficult or nearly impossible" in five of the most affected parishes in southeastern Louisiana. Although the company estimates full power restoration for customers by September 29 or earlier, May stated that it was not possible to restore power before then.
Terrebonne is one of these parishes. Volunteers in Houma's parish seat distributed water, ice and meals to storm victims on Saturday. Houma lies approximately 55 miles (90 km) southwest of New Orleans.
Kendall Duthu, 26, of Dulac was one of those in need. She collected red beans and rice for the container, then pulled over an Infiniti with cracked windshield to eat.
Duthu and his girlfriend have been living in their car since the storm. He used to be a chef at a jambalaya restaurant. But the pandemic took his job. He worked as a car washer until that job was lost. Duthu, who is a diabetic lost his home in the storms and doesn't know where it will go.
He said, trailing off, "Next stop, ..."," "We just have been living day to day."
According to CEO John Hairston, Houma's Hancock Whitney Bank has distributed approximately 42,000 meals and more water bottles since Tuesday.
He said that hurricanes are a normal part of human life. Buildings are temporary. It may be on another block. We'll still be there next storm."
On Saturday morning, 97% had completed damage assessment and power was restored to approximately 282,000 customers who lost power due to Ida. According to Deanna Rodriguez (Entergy New Orleans CEO), about 25% of New Orleans residents had their power restored. This includes all hospitals and 27 substations.
According to the Coast Guard, all vessel traffic on the lower Mississippi River was allowed to resume after power lines from a downed transmission tower were taken out.
But six days after Hurricane Ida made landfall, hard-hit parts of Louisiana were still struggling to restore any sense of normalcy. The continued absence of electricity for many residents in New Orleans made it difficult to enjoy the sultry summer and added to the woes that followed Ida. Louisiana authorities said Saturday that a man wanted in the shooting death a day earlier of another man during a dispute in a line at a gas station in suburban New Orleans was in custody.