September 2, 2008 / 1:31 PM / 11 years ago

Gustav Louisiana and Miss. power outages top 825,000: Entergy

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 825,000 customers in Entergy Corp’s (ETR.N) service area in Louisiana and Mississippi were without power Tuesday morning after Hurricane Gustav made landfall Monday morning near Cocodrie, Louisiana.

Entergy could not say when it would restore service to customers, including several oil refineries. Reports from outside the company estimated it could be 10 days before power was restored.

The company said the restoration would rival the scale and difficulty of the Hurricane Katrina recovery as the transmission system was extensively damaged, with 134 lines and 78 substations out of service.

The New Orleans and Baton Rouge area is essentially an island, no longer connected to the rest of the system, Entergy said in a report Monday night.

The 400 MW Waterford 1 natural gas/oil-fired unit, the 1,804 MW gas/oil-fired Nine Mile Point station and the 1,204 MW gas/oil-fired Little Gypsy station were supplying all of the power to the area because the transmission lines to and from the area were out of service, the company said.

Entergy shut the 967 MW River Bend nuclear power station in Louisiana Monday afternoon due to load concerns.

Before the storm hit the coast, Entergy shut the 1,152 MW Waterford 3 nuclear reactor in Louisiana Sunday night in anticipation of the heavy winds forecast for Monday morning.

Monday night, Entergy said Gustav caused the third highest number of outages in the company’s 95-year history. The only larger numbers were 1.1 million during Hurricane Katrina and 800,000 during Hurricane Rita in August and September 2005.

Entergy also expected the number of customers affected to grow as customers returned home and reported power outages.

One MW powers about 500 homes in Entergy’s service territory.

Entergy, of New Orleans, owns and operates about 30,000 MW of generating capacity, markets energy commodities, and transmits and distributes power to 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Walter Bagley

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