JENNINGS, La. (KLFY) — Officials from Jeff Davis Electric Co-operative (JDEC) say their system took significant damage in Hurricane Laura, and it may be several days up to a couple of weeks before power can be restored.
“We are not able to access about half of our system due to flooding,” stated JDEC in a press release. “We have about 10 miles transmission line with only two structures standing—everything else is on the ground. We are estimating at least 1,000 broken poles in the area.” JDEC is working to get a helicopter to survey the entire damage to get recovery estimations.
As damage assessments are completed, a “power restoration roadmap” will be developed and crews can begin giving time estimates for certain locations.
Crews have been called in from Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, and Tennessee as well as the Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative here in Louisiana for assistance. JDEC estimates that they will have over 300 people working on restoration efforts in the next couple days.
“We knew that Hurricane Laura would wreak havoc on our electric infrastructure, and we prepared well in advance to launch a major power restoration effort as soon as the storm subsided,” said Michael Heinen, General Manager of JDEC. “While that effort is underway, the rebuilding process will take time. We have a few employees that have either completely lost their homes or have significant damage, but they are here working.”
Electric cooperative employees are committed to restoring power to their consumers even when it takes them away from their own personal disasters, said Heinen.