All Morgan City electric customers were without power Saturday afternoon after the winds of Hurricane Barry, since downgraded to a tropical storm, hit St. Mary Parish.
“Wind has done the most damage to us,” Mayor Frank Grizzaffi said in an online update. “The wind got to our electric grid.”
Some neighborhoods in Morgan City, including the area around Central Catholic High School, lost power Friday night. Residents reported Lakeside Subdivision lost power for the first time Saturday afternoon.
With about 80 percent of the city without power Saturday, Grizzaffi said, the utility director decided to take the rest of the city’s customers offline.
The situation was assessed, he said, the problems were identified and city workers along with contract electrical workers will begin the task of restoring power after 6 p.m. if the wind subsides enough.
“We can’t be up in bucket trucks when you’ve got 30 mile per hour winds,” he said.
They’re expected to work through the night and a curfew has been ordered in part for the protection of workers.
The city had prepared for rainfall in excess of 15 inches from Barry, but that hasn’t happened.
“Barry gave us a left hook,” Grizzaffi said. “We were expecting water and we got wind.”
The city dodged another utility problem, this one with its sewer system. Power to its lift stations was down, putting the city on the brink of losing sewer service, Grizzaffi said. But generators were brought in and the problem was averted.