Line crews from 14 different states pitched in to assist Washington-St. Tammany Electric Co-op in restoring power during the past two weeks since Hurricane Ida struck. As of Monday of this week, virtually all of the co-op’s 51,980 members had power --- a total of 16 members across the three-parish service area were without power on Monday. The percentage without power on Monday equals 0.10% of all members....1/10 of one percent.
Most WST members appear to be highly appreciative of the rapid restoration process.
"We have worked tirelessly and safely to bring the lights back on for our community, and our guys have performed magnificently," said Charles Hill, CEO of WST. "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 Hurricane Ida's wake as the co-op focused on restoring power to the substations and then working methodically through the distribution system. With only 16 members without power as of Monday, Hill said co-op crews will continue working tirelessly until everyone is restored. Of the 16 members without power, 7 are in Washington Parish, 7 are in St. Tammany Parish, and 2 are in Tangipahoa Parish.
At the peak of the storm on August 29, more than 98% of WST's system was down. More than 775 lineworkers and other support staff have converged on the Northshore to help WST complete the power restoration process.
"We could not have accomplished what we have in a short period of time, if it had 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," said Willie Chauvin, WST’s Manager of Operations.