Isaac whacked parish power system


At least three electric companies are responding to restore power to residents as quickly as possible following Hurricane Issac on Wednesday.

Duval Arthur, St. Mary Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness director, said 5,564 homes in the parish were still without power Thursday morning. The majority of those without power are in the west end of the parish.

In Morgan City, about 60 residents on city power are still without power, due primarily to a broken pole on Onstead Street.

SLECA is also reporting outages in the eastern portion of the parish, though company personnel could not comment further as of press time because they were still assessing the damage to the Amelia and Stephensville areas.

As of Thursday morning, 5,000 Cleco residents across St. Mary Parish were without power, according to company spokeswoman Robbyn Cooper.

Crews were working across the parish to assess damage and restore electricity to customers as soon as possible, she said, adding she could not give a firm time as to when she expected to have power to all residents restored.

In the Tri-City area, Cleco spokeswoman Susan Broussard said about 800 residents in Patterson and 175 in Berwick were still without power.

Crews did work throughout the storm Wednesday, but were unable to keep all residents from losing power due to the high winds, she said.

“We did work throughout the day yesterday,” Broussard said. “We were able to restore power to hundreds of customers in the area, but despite our best efforts, there were still multiple outages.”

Beyond the 50 or so local employees working on restoring power today, Broussard said many crews from other areas totaling about 600 workers were brought in to repair storm damage to the Cleco electrical transmission system.

“Cleco has hundreds of guys from outside the area here to help us restore power as quickly as possible,” Broussard said. “We expect to see quite a bit of progress today.”

Cooper said Tuesday before the storm made landfall that Cleco had been preparing for the storm since it threatened the southern tip of Florida.

As Isaac moved northwest into the Gulf of Mexico to threaten south Louisiana, the utility began preparing to have the necessary crews and supplies needed to restore power quickly.

“We feel we are ready for the storm, wherever it hits,” she said. “We will go wherever we are needed.”

Additional reporting by Jean Kaess.

St. Mary Now & Franklin Banner-Tribune

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