A week after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, “a lot more” than 700,000 people in the Bayou State are without power, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Saturday.
“Electricity is one of the biggest challenges that we have across Southeast Louisiana,” Bel Edwards said at a press conference in Livingston Parish, according to CNN. “There’s not an even rate of restoration going on, and that’s always going to be the case. I’m always happy to see people getting powered up, and some people are going to be quite a while.”
According to Edwards, 718,559 homes and businesses in Louisiana were without power as of 12 p.m. Saturday, meaning “a lot more” people are left in the dark. That’s down from the more who than 1 million people who were without power Tuesday in the days following of Hurricane Ida, as sweltering heat complicated search and rescue efforts after the storm.
Utility companies and officials have warned that it could take weeks for many Louisans to have their power restored.
Edwards noted that it’s inevitable that a severe storm like Hurricane Ida would cause power outages, though the consequences can be curtailed with infrastructure upgrades in aftermath of the extreme weather event.
“It is hard for me to imagine that we will ever have an electrical infrastructure — or other types of infrastructure as well — that can withstand a storm of this severity without any disruptions,” he reportedly said. “But we know we can minimize those disruptions.”
“We can’t continue to build things back to the current standard.”