Over 150,000 without power in Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : Nearly a week after Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Gulf Coast, tens of thousands of people in Indian American governor Bobby Jindal’s home state of Louisiana were still living without power Monday.

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President Barack Obama is set to visit the state later Monday to get a first-hand look at recovery efforts in the state where thousands more have been forced into shelters by flooding caused by Isaac’s storm surge.

About 162,300 Entergy customers across Louisiana were still in the dark Sunday night, down from about 264,640 at 6 a.m., and a high of about 769,000 last week, nola.com, the website of the Times-Picayune published from New Orleans, the state’s largest city, reported.

Among the areas Obama is set to tour is St. John the Baptist Parish, where floodwaters forced thousands of residents to evacuate Thursday. About 9,567 homes and businesses were without power there, it said.

Isaac ranks as the second-worst storm to hit New Orleans, causing 126,000 power breakdowns in the city at its peak, compared to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which knocked out 172,000 homes and businesses, and Gustav in 2008, which left 108,000 customers without electricity.

Restoration of telephone, Internet and cable TV service also continued over the long Labour Day weekend, the news site said citing company officials.

Evacuation orders, most voluntary, remained in place in a number of parishes as authorities grappled with new threats posed by rain swollen rivers and lakes, CNN reported.

In St. James Parish, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, a dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed after the Blind River crested at flood stage, flooding nearly two dozen homes. National Guard troops were deployed to the area to help with security and possible evacuations, it said citing Jindal’s office.

Most of the areas hit hard by Isaac were outside the new federal levee system that was reconstructed at a price of $14.5 billion following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that killed nearly 1,800 people, most when the storm overwhelmed the levee system and flooded the city.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])