BR.walkerstormdamage.042420 TS 131.JPG

A tree sits snapped near its base in a park along Corbin Ave. just north of the Walker Community Center in Walker, La., as Entergy crews work on installing new cross arm on a utility pole, as they move toward restoring power to that area, Thursday morning, April 23, 2020. The tree had been cut already where it obstructed the road.

Nearly a week after Hurricane Delta pummeled the Baton Rouge area with powerful winds, hundreds were still without power.

Utility crews restored power to a majority of homes after tens of thousands of reported outages, but restoration efforts in harder-hit rural parishes have been slower.

East and West Feliciana parishes saw some of the most significant power outages from Delta, with nearly 5,000 outages. But the majority of Dixie Electric Membership Cooperative customers had power restored in East Feliciana, according to the company.

More than 900 customers, or 20%, were still without power as of Wednesday morning in West Feliciana Parish, according to Dixie Electric Membership Cooperative, the main electric provider for the parish. That’s down from some 2,900 outages the company reported Monday.

Crews restored more power throughout the day, reducing the number of outages in West Feliciana to about 500 by 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Many of the parish’s remaining power outages were in very rural areas, which required off-road equipment, DEMCO said. The company's power outage map showed widespread disruptions throughout the parish, and the largest concentration of customers without power were northwest of St. Francisville. 

Despite making landfall in southwest Louisiana, Delta's outer bands whipped up howling gusts overnight Friday and Saturday that topped out above 60 mph in the capital region.

Heavy winds caused heavy damage to the rural parishes' tree canopy, knocking down many of them, according to parish officials. The wind damage was so extensive that rescue crews had to cut down trees Saturday night en route to rescuing Sheriff Brian Spillman and another deputy injured by falling trees.

Initial estimates showed Delta had caused more than 680,000 outages statewide, the largest power outage statewide since Hurricane Isaac in 2012 — even more than the devastating Category 4 Hurricane Laura.

With temperatures expected to be in the 80s until Friday, the National Guard on Tuesday gave out ice to residents in West Feliciana. Residents outside of St. Francisville were also asked to stack debris on curbs near the road.

DEMCO hasn’t given a timetable for when the power will be restored throughout the company’s service areas and in West Feliciana.


Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com, and follow him on Twitter @youssefrddad