DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- MidAmerican Energy announced Tuesday the utility company will send 120 of its employees and contractors as well as equipment to Baton Rouge for storm restoration. Hurricane Ida reportedly knocked out power to more than a million customers in Louisiana.
As part of the mutual aid agreement between utility companies, MidAmerican will send crews from all over the state on Wednesday to assist Entergy Louisiana with restoring power to those customers.
"We're sending line workers as well as some vegetation management crew and everything in between. A big part of storm restoration is tree removal," Tina Hoffman, vice president of corporate communications said.
The utility company said the storm response team members all volunteered for the assignment in Louisiana. The crews will stop for an overnight along the way.
Entergy Louisiana requested crews to report on Thursday to a staging location in the Baton Rouge area.
"Our crews are up to this immense challenge of helping restore customers in Louisiana who've been devastated by Hurricane Ida," John Guy, MidAmerican vice president of electric delivery, said. "It was just over a year ago when the derecho impacted us so heavily and MidAmerican needed crews from elsewhere. We were thankful for all the help we could get and truly appreciate how important it is to respond when requested. I know our crews will do their level best in very difficult conditions to help turn peoples’ lights back on safely."
Entergy Louisiana provides electric service to southern Louisiana. The utility company reported the storm caused "catastrophic transmission damage" and may take weeks to restore customers in the most devastated areas.
"We certainly have benefitted from our utility partners coming into the state in storm restoration so it's important to give back in that way. We have a long history in answering those calls when they come," Hoffman said.
MidAmerican has assisted utility companies in Albany and Omaha this year, in New York after Tropical Storm Isaias last August, in Oklahoma after the ice storm in October 2020 and in Cedar Rapids after the derecho last August, and among other storms.