Parts of East Baton Rouge will be without power until next Wednesday

(stock photo)

Power will not be fully restored to East Baton Rouge parish until Wednesday Sept. 9, nearly a week from today, Entergy Louisiana CEO Phillip May said in a media briefing this morning.

Both East and West Feliciana parishes can also expect to have the “vast majority” of customers back on the grid by then, May said.

For customers in Ascension and Livingston parishes, both harder hit by the storm than Baton Rouge, the wait is likely to be much longer and it’s still too soon to provide customers with an estimated recovery time, utility officials say.

Entergy, which supplies power to most of Louisiana, continues to attribute the slow pace of recovery to the extensive level of devastation caused by the storm.

As of 9 a.m., nearly 44% of East Baton Rouge Parish customers were still without power, and in East Feliciana Parish nearly 50% of customers were without power, while 66% of Ascension Parish customers and 76% of Livingston Parish customers remained in the dark, according to poweroutages.us.

Less than 3% of West Feliciana Parish is out and only 2 customers are out in West Baton Rouge Parish.

Statewide, the number of outages tops 40%.

Officials with Entergy have touted some successes, like the return of power Wednesday to a handful of neighborhoods in New Orleans, which was completely knocked off the grid by Hurricane Ida Sunday night. 

But frustration is growing in communities throughout the state.

Entergy officials say their focus continues to be on restoring energy to critical infrastructure, noting that power has been fully restored to all hospitals in Baton Rouge.

Public Service Commission Chairman Dr. Craig Greene sent a letter to President Joe Biden Wednesday, urging the administration to invest in rebuilding a smarter, more resilient utility infrastructure in Louisiana, which, he notes, provides energy services to the entire country through its refineries and ports.

“Building resilient utility infrastructure in Louisiana is for the country’s benefit,” Greene’s letter says. “Investing in Louisiana’s power grid keeps the nation running and makes the entire nation more resilient. Thus, it is in America’s best interest to care about Louisiana utility infrastructure.”

Greene says later this month, the PSC will further call upon the administration and the state’s delegation for aid but says, “this issue is too important to wait.”