New Orleans Labors Under Frequent Power Failures

Ten months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans still lacks a reliable supply of electricity, and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of repairs are still needed. The city faces frequent power failures, and a section of the Lower Ninth Ward still has no service at all. Yet, given the area’s heat and humidity, air conditioning is typically needed six months out of the year.

The federal and state governments rejected requests by the local utility company, Entergy New Orleans, for a taxpayer bailout. The company now wants to increase its rates 25 percent to recover $718 million in storm losses and revenue shortfalls resulting from the reduced city population. Such a rate hike would create another obstacle in the already formidable struggle New Orleans faces on the way to recovery.

Adam Nossiter, “The Power Is Often Off, But the Rates May Go Up,” New York Times, 22 July 2006. Link: select.nytimes.com/gst/. (Requires subscription)