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La. officials fault Entergy for outages

  |   Oct. 5, 2008 at 5:07 PM
NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Officials in Louisiana say so many people there were left without electricity when Hurricane Gustav hit because of a weak power grid.

Public officials say it was the poor condition of Entergy Corp.'s grid that kept power off for so many following the Category 2 hurricane, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Sunday.

During Gustav, 30 percent of the transmission lines maintained by the state's largest utility failed and about 169 transmission towers collapsed. In New Orleans, only one of 14 transmission lines connecting the city to the rest of the state's power grid was intact, the newspaper reported.

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said restoring power would have resolved the overwhelming majority of Louisiana's storm-recovery issues.

"We are concerned that so much of the power for southeast Louisiana was dependent on just a few lines. It showed how vulnerable the system is," Jindal said.

The Republican governor also said Entergy needs to do a better job of reducing the state's vulnerability to hurricanes.

"We need to make sure these lines and infrastructure are being built and maintained to the latest standards. We know we are going to have future storms," he said. "It makes sense to prepare our infrastructure so that we don't have these extended outages."

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