ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS have been drafted in from across the US to help restore power supplies to New Orleans and the surrounding area, following last week's hurricane.
Regional power supplier Entergy said it had 10,000 contracting crews working in the city - nine times more than normal.
They were prioritising reconnection of hospitals, police and fire stations.
'One hundred percent of the network was wiped out by a combination of hurricane force winds and fl ooding, ' said an Entergy spokeswoman.
Repair efforts are initially focusing on restoring power to New Orleans' subterranean cables, which account for around 10% of the city's transmission network.
These were mostly undamaged by Katrina.
'Pumping and cleaning out substations and transformers linked to the underground cables is a priority, ' said the spokeswoman.
Restoration of a 'spine' supply to key buildings would be achieved by the end of the week.
Reconstruction of pylons leading to restoration of the overhead cable network will take far longer, she added.
US consultant and power contractor KBR was this week working to set up temporary accommodation for 1,000 electrical engineers brought in to restore supply by the neighbouring Mississippi Power authority.