Ike vs. Rita: The East Texas power grid perspective

A Friday morning flyover of East Texas drove home the differences between Hurricane Ike and 2005’s Hurricane Rita for Joe Domino, CEO of Entergy-Texas, the firm that runs the power grid from Conroe to the Woodlands to Beaumont.
In a conference call with reporters today Domino said trees were responsible for knocking down most of the lines during Rita, but the sheer force of wind seemed to play the bigger role in East Texas with Ike, as well as more flooding in Port Arthur and on Bolivar Peninsula.
“The storms had two very different personalities,” Domino said.
Entergy-Texas had 393,000 customers without power at the peak of the storm, versus 287,000 for Rita, Domino said. A few other comparisons:
Transmission lines knocked down:
Rita: 179. Ike: 186
Substations out:
Rita: 238. Ike: 282
Distribution poles knocked down:
Rita: 8,500. Ike: 5,700
Percentage of customer back on line after 7 days:
Rita: 40 percent. Ike: 52 percent.

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