Gov. John Bel Edwards said Wednesday morning that about 90% of Calcasieu Parish, which includes Lake Charles, is without power nearly two weeks after Hurricane Laura struck.

Edwards made the comment after a roundtable discussion that included U. S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, who is from Louisiana, as well as officials from Entergy, SWEPCO, CLECO and others.

The gathering was held to discuss the long-term impact of the hurricane on the state's energy industry.

The governor said Tuesday that power outages have dropped from about 615,000 shortly after the Level 4 category hurricane arrived in Cameron Parish to about 138,000 at mid-day Tuesday.

However, the brunt of those without power are centered on Lake Charles, which has about 80,000 residents.

Brouillette said damages to the areas's transmission grid was "devastating. There is no other way to say it."

He said about 1,000 transmitters were damaged or destroyed.

"These are very difficult things to replace," Brouillette said. "It takes some time to do. We are still a couple of weeks away from total restoration."

Said Edwards, "Everybody can take some sense of satisfaction that Entergy is working very, very hard to make progress to bring power back on."

"You are going to see more lights on," he said. 'More retail is coming. But it is going to be a relatively modest step. We don't want to overstate it."

The storm has forced residents to evacuate to hotels around the state -- about 12,300 -- and hotels in Texas -- about 4,500.

Even those whose homes sustained little or no damage are waiting for power to return or water systems to be repaired.

Edwards said that, aside from damages to chemical and other plants, delays getting workers back on site is another challenge.

Check back with The Advocate for more details.

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