As cleanup continues in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ida, Walton EMC is sending 10 trucks with 13 linemen west to Louisiana to assist with power restoration.
“We are sending linemen to DEMCO, an EMC just east of Baton Rouge,” Greg Brooks from Walton EMC said. The crews left Thursday. “About 20 percent of DEMCO’s customers are still without power and the prediction for some really hard-hit areas is another month until restoration. Those areas not only have local lines down, but they also have the large transmission lines (the ones on the large steel towers) down. Those lines bring power to local areas from power plants.”
Brooks said there also are hundreds of broken poles across the DEMCO service area.
“The worst areas seem to be St. Helena and Tangipahoa Parishes,” Brooks said.
According to damage assessments on Sept. 8, 2021, the entire east side of St. Helena is devastated and transmission infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. The hospital, nursing home, and assisted living facilities have been restored but after assessment of all three-phase main lines found 384 broken poles. Also, right-of-way clearing continues along transmissions and they still expect an extended weeks-long outage.