Katrina leaves millions without power in U.S. Gulf
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hurricane Katrina left more than 2.3
million electricity customers along the U.S. Gulf Coast without
power by early Tuesday as the remnants of the storm moved into
the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.
Katrina crashed into southern Louisiana as a Category 4
storm Monday morning with maximum sustained winds near 140
miles per hour. The center of the storm, downgraded to a
Tropical Storm with 50 mph winds, is in central Tennessee.
Entergy Corp., with more than a million customers without
power in Louisiana and Mississippi, said it would start
assessing the damage this morning.
Katrina left about 791,000 outages in Entergy’s Louisiana
territory and 276,000 in Mississippi.
The New Orleans-based energy company warned customers to
expect a long and difficult restoration that could take weeks.
Some government officials in Louisiana and Mississippi said it
could take a month or more to restore full electric service in
some of the worst-hit areas.
In addition, Entergy shut at least two power plants on the
Mississippi River near New Orleans, including the
1,089-megawatt Waterford 3 nuclear reactor and the 825 MW
Michoud natural gas and oil-fired station, to avoid damage from
the hurricane-force winds and flooding.
Entergy also started to shut another nuclear reactor, the
1,263 MW Grand Gulf unit in Mississippi, but stopped reducing
the plant’s power as the hurricane-force winds veered away from
One MW powers about 800 homes, according to North American
Southern Co.’s subsidiaries reported more than 800,000
customer outages with more than 120,000 out in Mississippi,
629,000 out in Alabama and 117,000 out in Florida.
Cleco Corp., which serves about 265,000 customers in
Louisiana, said about 80,000 customers were without service as
of late Monday.
As Katrina pounded its way across the Tennessee Valley, the
Tennessee Valley Authority reported eight damaged transmission
lines and more than 175,000 customers out of service at the
municipal utilities TVA serves in Mississippi and Tennessee.
In Florida, FPL Group Inc.’s Florida Power and Light
subsidiary restored power to nearly 1.3 million of the 1.4
million customers affected by the hurricane as Katrina crossed
the southern part of the state on August 25-26.
FPL Group Inc. said in a release it expects to restore full
service by Friday night.
Entergy’s subsidiaries own and operate about 30,000 MW of
generating capacity, market energy commodities, and transmit
and distribute power to 2.6 million customers in Arkansas,
Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Southern’s subsidiaries own and operate more than 39,000 MW
of generating capacity, market energy commodities, and transmit
and distribute electricity to more than 4 million customers in
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
TVA owns and operates more than 31,000 MW of generating
capacity, sells electricity to local distribution companies
serving 8.3 million consumers in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia,
Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia, and markets
surplus power to energy companies in neighboring grids.
FPL’s subsidiaries own and operate more than 31,000 MW of
generating capacity across the United States, market energy
commodities, and transmit and distribute electricity to more
than 4.3 million customers in Florida.