News & Updates for Tangipahoa Parish

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Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative Marks Significant Progress In Power Restoration Following Hurricane Ida

Coylean Schloegel

Friday, September 10, 2021

With line crews from fourteen states assisting its workforce, Washington-St. Tammany Electric Cooperative (WSTE) is making significant progress in restoring power to local communities affected by Hurricane Ida.

Since the Category 4 storm made landfall on August 29, the co-op has restored power to more than 51,000 households and businesses across Washington, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa Parishes. 

“We are working tirelessly and safely to bring the lights back on for our community, and our guys have performed magnificently,” said Charles Hill, CEO. “Following this catastrophic storm, roughly 5,100 miles of line were out of service and over 600 poles were broken. Our restoration plan is systematic and designed to return service to the largest number of members in the shortest period of time until everyone is back online. We continue to be grateful for the patience of our community and the help of crews from across the country as the damage is repaired.”   

WSTE trains to use a systematic approach to restore power. That training proved invaluable in Ida’s wake as the co-op focused on restoring power to the substations and then working methodically through the distribution system. As of 2:00 pm today, less than 250 WSTE members remain without power. The remaining individuals or small groups require travel to each site for restoration and will be time-consuming.  Electric co-op crews will continue working tirelessly until everyone is restored. 

At the peak of the storm, more than 98% of WSTE’s system was offline. More than 775 lineworkers and other support staff have converged on the Northshore to help WSTE complete the power restoration process.  

“We could not have accomplished what we have in a short period of time if it would not have been for the dedicated trained employees following our storm plan. Despite all the obstacles the crews, mutual aid assistance, and contractors pulled together to meet the challenges.  I’m very proud of all of them.  They are the heroes” stated Willie Chauvin, Manager of Operations.

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