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National Association of Broadcasters

WWL-TV Investigates the Source of Power Failures

Topic: Investigative Reporting
Posted on 9/14/2021

TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WWL-TV New Orleans, La., investigated on August 30 how a massive transmission tower collapsed due to high winds and all eight transmission lines from power company Entergy failed simultaneously, leaving the entire New Orleans area south of Lake Pontchartrain without power and on an “island” after Hurricane Ida. Investigative Reporter David Hammer interviewed Entergy Louisiana CEO Phillip May about the four-day assessment process to determine the best way to get the lights back on and explained how the fees Entergy customers paid for hardening infrastructure were spent. Hammer also spoke with New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno, who regulates Entergy New Orleans and raised concerns about how Entergy managed its transmission system. “I’m just wondering whether this could have been prevented. And that’s what we’re going to be looking into,” she said. “So, yes, the focus is on absolute restoration. That is what we’re all about right now. But more will follow with investigations and getting to the bottom of how this happened and what can be done better by the company.”

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