Tuesday, September 02, 2008

New Orleans Off the GRID

Word has it from a t-con just completed with Louisiana's power company, Entergy, is that it may be weeks before power is restored to southern Louisiana.

The Times-Pic has the following article posted regarding this.

This info below is taken from Entergy's own website and is pretty frightening. New Orleans is an electrical ISLAND:

- Entergy’s transmission system has sustained extremely severe damage from Hurricane Gustav, damage that could make power restoration a difficult and slow process, especially in southeastern Louisiana.

- The transmission damage across the Entergy system includes 191 transmission lines and 210 substations out of service.

- Entergy’s preparations made in advance of the storm to protect its system contributed directly to the power that is still on in New Orleans. Without the planning to isolate some generators there, this transmission damage would have interrupted power everywhere in the New Orleans area. Entergy’s Waterford 1, Nine Mile Point and Little Gypsy plants are now supplying all the power available in this area.

- Thirteen of the 14 transmission lines serving the New Orleans metropolitan area are out of service due to the storm. This creates a situation where the New Orleans metropolitan area and a corridor along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge have become essentially an island, no longer electrically connected to the rest of the Entergy system and the electricity grid for the eastern United States. This “island” is south of Lake Pontchartrain and includes Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and upper Plaquemines parishes, which are sometimes referred to as the “river” parishes.

- Transmission lines in the Baton Rouge area that are needed to tie the “island” back to the system are out of service due to storm damage there, which was particularly severe.

- Entergy is therefore continuing to carefully manage the restoration process in the affected area because adding more load could create an imbalance and trip the system, putting all the lights out.

- Part of the difficulty is that there are no transmission lines to the south of New Orleans area because of the Gulf of Mexico. Transmission lines to the north, east and west are out of service.

- Entergy’s first choice to relieve the islanding issue was to use its 500,000-volt transmission line, but that line is damaged at the substation and will take several days to repair. The alternate is to use several 230,000-volt lines to tie in the system. Several lines would be needed to assure the stability of the island and avoid an outage that would affect the entire region. Assessment continues and the time needed to repair the 230,000-volt lines could still take several days.

- Entergy has experienced extensive distribution system damage, as well. This damage will be repaired in parallel with the transmission repairs so distribution will be ready as soon as possible when the transmission system repairs are made.

- Entergy continues restoring service to emergency facilities in the affected area. Other restoration continue, but energizing of completed repairs will be delayed until the area can be tied back to the rest of the system. Continued bad weather also is preventing damage assessment by helicopter at this time.
I guess this means that the little two block area that I'm in is damn lucky to have power.

It also means that New Orleans is holding on by an electrical thread.

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Post Gustav Flooding River Ridge

A train of torrential rain slammed Jefferson Parish for about an hour and a half - about an hour ago. Normally something that the pumps should be able to keep up with. However, there are no residents here to clean out the culverts which rapidly filled with storm debris. Given one more hour of rain, this area would have been swamped. These photos are current. I've been going around and cleaning culverts, but it is a loosing battle. They clog back up in a few minutes.Keep the rain gods away.

This is what happens when you clean a culvert...

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Roadblocks for entering New Orleans

The map below lists the roadblocks for entering the New Orleans area until further notice. Source WVUE News, the LA State Police and NOYC.org.

View Larger Map

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Boater Rides out Hurricane Gustav


and... More Streetscapes

Been in a really nasty squall line training up from the South. Serious gusts moving through with sounds of trains and stuff coming up from behind you. Still remarkably have power and no street flooding. This storm, at least here, is way dryer than Katrina - and Katrina was really not that wet of a storm.

I've heard it doesn't look good further south of us and the surge has yet to work its way through our remaining vesitges of marsh.

Oh yeah, as far as those power lines you see in the video - I am definitely upwind of them. Still pretty freaky cruising the neighborhood though... I need a nap.

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All boats in the Municipal harbor appear to be fine although there is some serious rubbing and a few roller furling issues. Water is coming through New Orleans Yacht Club's Dry Storage area into the street (This is all behind the floodwalls.)

Captain Mike who is riding out Gustav onboard his 53 foot workboat is stating that the water levels on the Southshore of Lake Pontchartrain are already dropping with the clocking of the wind to a more southerly direction. POTENTIALLY VERY GOOD NEWS FOR THE INDUSTRIAL CANAL. As long as the new angle of the wind doesn't force more water up the GOD DAMNED M.R.G.O., which the FEDS have been taking their time closing since it flooded half of New Orleans and all of St. Bernard Parish during Hurricane Katrina.

I have some info regarding an Army Corps of Engineers request that I am trying to get permission to post.

Below is another video from the neighborhood... A massive tree branch fell inches from my powerline. All still good regarding electricity and zero flooding here.

More Storm Footage/Industrial Canal

Video below of some fairly serious limbs that have crashed down. I recon-ed the neighborhood and there is still zero street flooding. No major trees down.

I'm kind of shitting my pants about that Industrial Canal footage I just saw on WWL TV. Here's the story from the Times-Picayune.

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Lakeview Update

This is from the Lakeview Civic Association.

I just heard from Sgt. Doug Eckert of LCPD and he said Lakeview is looking pretty good. He said there are branches and debris around the neighborhood, a few trees down, but no trees blocking streets that he could see. Power appears to be out. He has not had time to drive through the entire area but he did not see any significant damage to homes or businesses that he passed.

As usual, Doug, Greg Elder and LCPD are doing an excellent job of watching our neighborhood and keeping us informed of what's happening. He said NOPD patrols and the National Guard will be out protecting the area.

Al Petrie
Be Safe and Long Live Lakeview

Mother of ALL Storms

Gustav Videos - Big Gusts

The lights are definitely flickering. I've probably heard about eight transformers blow so far. Entergy only reports about 92,000 people without power. Looks like Gustav is hitting around Grand Isle.

Make sure you check out the wave action in the pool on this one. Still trying to catch some of the serious wind gusts. Going to do some recon and looks like we may have an issue with a pair of doors to the house weakening.

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More Early Gustav with Video

Power's still holding here - bizarrely.

Heard from Benz, one of my "correspondents" out at the Lakefront. He said, "It's pretty windy." I laughed and told him that's not very descriptive. He replied, "It's pretty fucking windy."

Buzzy, also on the Lakefront said it's not that bad, maybe 75 knot puffs, and she still has power.

Last spoke to Capt. Mike who's riding the storm out on his 53 foot workboat, Manana, out at Municipal Harbor last night - AOK at that point.

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Early Gustav with Video

Well the first electrical transformers are blowing which means winds must be gusting to say 50 - 55 knots. The power here is still holding. When they blow they put off a crazy blue green arcing light. Doubt I can catch that on video. The rain has surprisingly been fairly light up to this point.

Most of these storms come through at night - so to have one during the day is a nice change.

As the light becomes better, I'm going to get a video of the wave action in the pool - pretty interesting. Also one of the dog trying to go pee out in the yard. She keeps trying to make a run for it, but then charges back from the wind and the rain.

While I'm uploading this video, the only thing that keeps running through my head is Mel Gibson in Braveheart screaming to his troops, "Hold. Hold. Hold! HOLD!" except I'm talking about the electricity.

I started my ice factory last night... maybe made about an extra bag. lol.

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Twitter Gustav

FYI - I'm mostly doing quick twitter updates (they can be found on the right hand side of the page) and will try and do some more in depth things normally.

As of now, nothing much exciting is going on weather wise. Most of the feeder bands have fizzled before reaching New Orleans other than the first one around 7pm Sunday. The neighborhood is nearly 90% deserted - basically exactly where it was for Katrina, until the onset of the levee failures. A couple of cop cars cruise up and down the street every now and then with their lights flashing.

As I stated in my earlier post, I still think this storm should only slightly effect New Orleans. However, it is astounding to watch the disconnect between the National and the local media. The local guys are all breathing a sigh of relief, yet the MSM is screaming hysterically simultaneously.

This will still be a serious storm down in Houma, Morgan City, Lafayette and cause flooding further to the northwest, but unless another catastrophic event happens - New Orleans should be fine, other than torrential tropical rain.

One final note for the night. I watched a local news video filmed yesterday of the head of the Army Corps of Engineers defending the incredibly slow progress on rebuilding Southeast Louisiana's levees. He stated, and I quote here, "You can't build a levee overnight."

Well, one lowly south Louisiana parish has and with no help from the Corps.

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