As Hurricane Laura approaches, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) advises customers to prepare now for the storm. Customers who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements in preparation for potential power outages.
“Restoring power after the hurricane passes could take multiple days,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Region Operations. “We will make every effort to get the lights back on as soon as possible, and we want our customers to be prepared.”
Strong winds and heavy rain are forecast in northwest and central Louisiana and East Texas from late Wednesday through Thursday. Tropical-storm-force wind gusts and rain on Thursday are likely near Texarkana and possible near Fayetteville, Arkansas.
SWEPCO has secured more than 1,000 line and tree personnel to assist company crews in responding to power outages that may be caused by Hurricane Laura across the company’s three-state service territory. SWEPCO will position crews to safely restore power to customers as quickly as possible.
Customers should assume that any downed utility line is energized. Stay away and keep children and pets away from downed lines. Please report it immediately to SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919.
If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators can “backfeed” electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.
How to report, track outages
· Log on to SWEPCO.com to report an outage and to sign up for text and email updates, including an estimated time of restoration.
· Use the SWEPCO app, available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
· Call 1-888-218-3919 to report your outage.
· Visit SWEPCO.com/OutageMap to find detailed information without logging into your account
Create an emergency outage kit
Be prepared should the power go out. Assemble an emergency outage kit that includes the following items, at a minimum:
Flashlights and fresh batteries
Battery-powered radios or televisions
Candles, matches, or lighters
Water for drinking and cooking
Camping equipment (sleeping bags, camp stoves, lanterns)
Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
Manufacturers’ instructions for power-operated equipment such as the garage door, generator
Important medicines you need to take. Better to locate them while the power is still on than fumbling around in the dark should the power go out.