A Louisiana energy company said this week that restoring power to the thousands of households that have lost electricity due to Hurricane Ida could be a "weeks long process."
"Though we would love nothing more than to restore power to all members at this time, without repairs to transmission and transformer poles, that isn't possible. Also until damaged infrastructure is repaired, we cannot begin to replace distribution poles and lines and estimated times of restoration are not possible," the DEMCO energy company wrote on its Facebook page.
"Our message is that this will be a weeks long process and members should make plans now for their health, safety and comfort," the company said.
DEMCO CEO Randy Pierce reiterated this assessment in a press release on Tuesday, saying "restoration will be a weeks long effort."
According to DEMCO's assessment, the damage caused by Ida is affecting around 60,000 to 80,000 of its members.
“We realize this isn’t news that people want to hear, but it is the reality of damage from a major weather event," David Latona, DEMCO vice president of marketing and member services, said.
Demco provides energy services for the Louisiana parishes north of New Orleans, including Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa and West Feliciana.
Shortly after Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, all of New Orleans was left without power. According to Entergy New Orleans, which provides electricity to about 207,000 customers in the New Orleans area, around 7 percent of power has been restored to those who lost electricity as of Tuesday.
"Ida’s historic intensity has brought a tremendous amount of damage across Louisiana and Mississippi. Because of the extent of damage and rebuilding required, we expect recovery to be difficult and challenging, and customers in the hardest-hit areas should expect extended power outages lasting for weeks," Entergy said in an update.