NEW ORLEANS – As New Orleans deals with what Mayor Landrieu called “the strain and the stress” of being without power following Hurricane Isaac, the CEO of Entergy’s estimate that power would be restored to most of city by Monday likely won’t ease the ever-growing frustration.
Charles Rice, the CEO of Entergy New Orleans, said that 70 percent of Orleans Parish would be restored by Monday and 90 percent by Wednesday. He called those estimates "conservative."
"Like everyone else, my patience is wearing thin," said Landrieu at an afternoon press conference on the clean up after Isaac.”This is more than an inconvenience. This is a danger.”
Rice attempted ease the frustration of residents and appeal for patience. Crews were only able to start working on restoring power Thursday by mid-morning.
Crews worked until midnight Friday, said Rice, and they were able to restore power for 50,000. Currently, Entergy 1,828 workers -- 1,400 linemen and 428 support personnel -- in New Orleans to restore power. Early estimates of the damage from Isaac have found 150 downed pole, 200 downed lines, 100 lines with trees on them, 140, damaged crossarms and 28 damaged transfers.
As of 1:30 p.m., nearly 112,000 power outages were reported by Entergy in Orleans Parish.
The lack of power citywide is becoming a health concern for city officials, especially for elderly New Orleanians and those with special medical needs. City Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo visited five independent living facilities and assisted living facilities, said Landrieu, the city is "reaching to people who are bed ridden in their homes."
The city has also opened a special medical shelter, said Landrieu. The shelter is in partnership with the state and federal government. The shelter is for residents who have high-risk medical conditions, about 75 people are being given care at the shelter. Those needing help should call 504-658-2500.
Irish Bayou, Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine, areas outside of levee protection system, were hardest hit, said Landrieu. A precautionary water boil has been issued for Venetian Isles.
Presidential Declaration for Federal Assistance been expanded to individual aid for residents in Orleans Parish.