SWEPCO Continues Progress in Louisiana Storm Restoration

SWEPCO’s workforce has restored power to approximately 98,500 customers, or 72% of the 136,000 customers who lost power in the wake of Hurricane Laura.

As of 8 p.m. Monday, about 4,000 customers in the Shreveport-Bossier area and 33,500 in Central Louisiana remained without power.

“We are making excellent headway overall but continue to face enormous challenges, especially in the Valley District, which took the direct Category 2 hit from Hurricane Laura,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Operations. “Only seven of the 71 distribution circuits serving Central Louisiana survived the storm. Each of those circuits serves hundreds or thousands of customers across eight parishes. We are steadily rebuilding those facilities – hundreds of poles, cross-arms, transformers, and miles of wire.

“We are also coordinating with Cleco and Entergy, which are interconnected to our system and sustained similar damage,” Seidel said.

More than 3,000 line and tree personnel from 15 states and Canada are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. As work finishes in one area, crews are shifted to other areas to join those already deployed there. More crews will be joining the thousands of personnel already working in Central Louisiana.

Estimated Times of Restoration

Power will be restored to 95% of customers in cities and surrounding areas before the estimates below:

· Bossier City – 10 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31

· Haughton – 10 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31

· Shreveport – 10 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1

· Logansport – 10 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31

· Mansfield – 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1

· Hornbeck and Natchitoches – 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3

NOTE: Some of the Natchitoches issues might be from no power being provided by ENTERGY to SWEPCO!  

Customers without power who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements.

Louisiana residents can call 211 to find cooling centers and other assistance.

Working Safely

· Workers are practicing social distancing and other measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus, making the recovery effort especially challenging.

· Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and SWEPCO field personnel as we all play a crucial role in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

· Also, be careful when driving or walking in all utility crew work zones.

Public Safety

· Downed power lines – Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call SWEPCO to report any downed lines or equipment.

· Portable generators – If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators “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.

When to Call an Electrician

· SWEPCO cannot connect power to a home or business if there is damage to the service entrance, which is owned by the customer.

· Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored. The service entrance includes the metal box housing SWEPCO’s meter, the “weatherhead” pipe on top of the meter box, the service entrance cables running from the weatherhead through the meter box to the inside panel box, and other related facilities. Similar responsibilities apply to underground service.

· After repairs are made, contact SWEPCO to have power restored.