Crews head to New Orleans after Hurricane Ida knocks out power to ½ million

JEA is on its way to help

Area utility crews are on their way to Louisiana to help to help get the lights (and air conditioning) back on.

Local utility crews are on their way to help Louisiana on Monday morning to help restore power as Hurricane Ida moves on.

JEA trucks hit the road Sunday and 35 JEA line workers spent the night in Mobile, Alabama. They’re waiting for Ida to pass before heading to Lafayette, northwest of New Orleans.

JEA crews plan to stay for two-week stints and work 16-hour days. There will be a work shift rotation every two weeks to prevent burnout. The goal is to restore power and help build back communities impacted by Ida.

A man passes by a section of roof that was blown off of a building in the French Quarter by Hurricane Ida winds, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Right now, all of New Orleans and most of Baton Rouge are without power. JEA has some experience responding to situations like this.

JEA electric maintenance coordinator, Matthew Stafford, said he’s pretty experienced with storm recovery.

“After you’ve been on so many of the storms and I’ve been on quite a few of them over the years as you kind of know what to expect with each category you’re going to be doing house services or you’re going to be putting up wire here in there and maybe changing out a pole here in there from trees,” Stafford said.

Florida Power & Light Company is deploying employees and contractors Monday to help restore power in Louisiana. A team of more than 750 employees and contractors will assist Entergy Louisiana and Cleco with their restoration after Hurricane Ida has passed.

There are ways you can help right now. The Red Cross is among nonprofits collecting donations. Just head to the Red Cross website.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.