Hurricane Laura electrical damage in Louisiana climbs to $1.4B


Entergy Corp. says the cost to restore electricity and repair power lines damaged in the state during Hurricane Laura is now up to $1.4 billion.

The New Orleans-based utility, serving many of the areas affected by the Aug. 27 storm, said Tuesday that power has been restored to almost all of its customers who were left without electricity when storm surge and winds of up to 150 mph downed more than 14,000 lines and ravaged homes and businesses across the state’s southwestern coast.

Remaining work in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, and into Lake Charles, was expected to be completed by Sept. 30, according to a news release from the company.

At the Citgo Lake Charles refinery, for example, partial power has been restored to two of the three refinery substations and repairs to the damaged refinery equipment are progressing well. In a news release issued Monday, the company said it was on track for a phased restart of operations with all units back in service by mid to late October.

Total restoration costs, including those incurred by Entergy in Texas, were estimated at $1.7 billion, according to the company.

It was not immediately clear how much of the repair costs would be covered by the federal government and how much would be picked up by Entergy and its ratepayers.

The Louisiana Legislature is set to address relief efforts during a special session beginning next week. Repair costs from Laura also include precautionary measures to protect against the coronavirus, such as accommodations for disaster response workers who had to be housed in hotels near the damage sites, officials say.