Should Louisiana’s power transmission lines be underground? 

While the levee systems improvements made after Hurricane Katrina held up to flooding, electricity experts and regulators who have surveyed some of Hurricane Ida’s destruction are asking what improvements could be made to the grid for future storms. 

The overwhelming damage to Entergy’s electric transmission system in Louisiana was probably unavoidable. “One-hundred-fifty-mile-an-hour winds are going to be rough on any infrastructure that they hit,” Joshua Rhodes, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, said in an interview with USA Today.  

Similar to the engineering questions raised regarding the levee system after Katrina, Ida’s devastation to Entergy’s transmission system has experts and regulators guessing at how the grid should be improved. Should transmission lines be above or below ground? 

U.S. Rep. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, advocates for undergrounding. 

“One thing we should do and that I’ll be pushing for is to make sure we start going underground with as much of our power infrastructure as possible,” Carter told USA Today Network Tuesday as he surveyed the damage from a U.S Coast Guard plane. Read the full story.