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Electric workers continue efforts to restore power in Louisiana

A team of Georgia linemen from Thomasville, Calhoun and Griffin have been staged in Louisiana...
A team of Georgia linemen from Thomasville, Calhoun and Griffin have been staged in Louisiana since Ida made landfall.(Brandon Wyle)
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 10:27 PM EDT
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HOUMA, La. (WCTV) - It’s been a little more than a week since Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana, ripping through the state as a category 4 storm and leaving thousands without power.

A team of Georgia linemen from Thomasville, Calhoun and Griffin have been staged in Louisiana since Ida made landfall. Training and safety Director Brandon Wylie with Electric Cities in Georgia says the aftermath is some of the worst he’s seen in his 24 years of experience.

“Irma was bad, we went to Key West for Irma and it was bad. Michael was really bad in Georgia, but I think this deployment might be the worst one I’ve been on,” said Wylie.

It was reported that more than 22,000 power poles were damaged during the storm, and Wylie said it’s been a little more challenging in some areas to restore energy.

“We’re waiting on Entergy to get a transmission feed into the town. We have a few circuits that are ready now that could be energized immediately but without that transmission feed, there’s nothing we could do,” he said.

The crew, made up of 18 men is currently working in Houma. Wylie said the days are long and the workers are battling extreme heat. Although restoration in Morgan City only took about two days to get the power back on, it’s unclear how much longer it’ll take to do the same in each community.

Wylie said even though the work they’re doing has its challenges, there’s nothing better than the feeling he gets when the lights finally come on.

“It’s so rewarding when you throw the switch in, and the lights come on and you can hear cheering from the houses. It’s just amazing,” he said.

Officials also warn against civilians from trying to remove power poles or lines on their own. Wylie said even though the power is off, it can still be very dangerous and to wait for a linemen crew instead.

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