HOUSTON More than 730,000 homes and businesses along the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi remained without electricity Wednesday evening even as a weakened Isaac slowly crawled ashore in Louisiana.
Most of New Orleans was without power and outages were on the rise elsewhere in Louisiana as Isaac, downgraded from a hurricane to a strong tropical storm with heavy rain and sustained wind of 70 mph, moved inland knocking out power in new areas.
The slow-moving storm prevented Louisiana utilities from sending teams out to assess storm damage. New Orleans-based Entergy said 17 substations and 32 transmission lines were damaged by the storm.
Flooding slowed some power restoration work along the Mississippi coast, and gusty winds resulted in increased outages.
In Louisiana, Entergy said it is gathering a workforce of 10,000 workers from two dozen states to restore power once the storm has passed and it was safe to work.
Entergy's Waterford 3 nuclear plant shut ahead of the storm but the River Bend, near Baton Rouge, and the Grand Gulf nuclear plant, near Port Gibson, Mississippi, continued to operate at full power.
In Florida and Alabama, utility crews were able to reconnect service to most customers as coastal weather conditions improved.
The following table lists the largest outages:
Company State Outages
Entergy* LA 655,133
Cleco LA 64,812
Southern Co MS 11,000
Entergy MS 6,730
* Includes Entergy New Orleans, Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States units.
(Reporting by Eileen O'Grady in Houston; Editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid, Marguerita Choy and Bob Burgdorfer)
(This story has been corrected to fix the misspelling in the lead, no other change to text)