September 17, 2008

Post-Ike Power Restoration May Take Weeks

Some areas of Texas hit by Hurricane Ike may be without electricity for several weeks, utility officials said.

Meanwhile, city officials in hard-hit Galveston, Texas, suspended their look-and-leave policy that allowed residents to return to check on their homes, The Galveston County Daily News reported

CenterPoint Energy officials said up to half of its customers in Houston and surrounding areas may be without power for up to a week, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday. The company said that 50-75 percent of its business and residential customers should have power by next Tuesday.

About 1.43 million of the utility's 2.2 million customers were without power Tuesday, officials said.

Entergy Texas, which provides service in northern and eastern portions of the area affected by Ike, said power should be restored to all of its customers by Oct. 6, the Chronicle said. Entergy Texas Chief Executive Joe Domino said the storm destroyed 98 transmission towers.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry authorized the state's power distributors to lay temporary electric transmission lines Tuesday, bypassing the easement acquisition process.

In Galveston, city officials offered no explanation why they suspended its look-and-leave policy that permitted residents and business owners to drive to Galveston Island, look at their property and leave before the 6 p.m. curfew, the Daily News said.