SWEPCO has pushed the estimated restoration times for many Central Louisiana communities to the weekend because crews have encountered more damage and difficulties with accessing work sites in the wake of Hurricane Laura.
“We recognize this is a tremendous hardship for our customers,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “Workers are reporting major damage to the power grid. Their repair work been slowed by standing water, mud and downed trees.”
“We’re also focused on getting more detailed restoration information to individual customers,” Smoak continued. “Updates are posted to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as SWEPCO.com. We appreciate your continued patience.”
Natchitoches Area Estimated Times of Restoration
(95% of customers who can take power)
10 p.m. Friday – Hagewood Hwy 6 to Hwy 504 Oak Grove community
10 p.m. Saturday – Hwy 120 Provencal and east to Cypress
10 p.m. Sunday – Provencal and south on Hwy. 117 to Belwood; Hagewood Hwy. 6 to Robeline
10 p.m. Saturday – Hwy. 471 Verda to Atlanta, La; Verda Hwy. 471 and Hwy 122 to Dry Prong
10 p.m. Sunday – Verda Hwy 122 to Montgomery
10 p.m. Thursday – Derry La Hwy 1 north to Cypress, La
10 p.m. Friday – Derry La Hwy. 119 to Melrose
10 p.m. Saturday – Derry La Hwy. 1 south to Marco
10 p.m. Friday – Many Marthaville Rd
10 p.m. Sunday – Many Hwy 6 runs east to Robeline Ft. Jessup area
10 p.m. Thursday – Marthaville Hwy 487 to Ajax
10 p.m. Saturday – Marthaville Hwy. 120 to Robeline; Marthaville Hwy 120 to Natchitoches Parish/Sabine Parish line
Cane River –
10 p.m. Wednesday – Keyser Ave and Blanchard Rd, Sudberry subdivision
10 p.m. Saturday- Hwy. 1 south to Natchez and Hwy 1 bypass to I-49
Grand Ecore –
10 p.m. Thursday – Hwy 6 at Grand Ecore and Hwy. 3191 Oak Grove community
10 p.m. Sunday – Hwy. 6 west of Grand Ecore and Clarence community, St. Maurice, Montgomery
10 p.m. Friday – Campti Hwy 71 south to Clarence
10 p.m. Saturday – Campti Hwy. 71 north to Fairview; Campti Hwy. 480 east to Sandy Point
10 p.m. Wednesday – Belmont Hwy. 120 to Marthaville
10 p.m. Thursday – Belmont Hwy. 175 south to Many and Hwy 175 north to Pleasant Hill
10 p.m. Wednesday – Powhattan Hwy. 1 North to Hwy 174 and Hwy 174 west to Ajax; Powhattan Hwy 1 south to Natchitoches
10 p.m. Wednesday – Creston Hwy 9 north to Reidhimer and Saline; Creston Hwy 9 Hwy. 156 to Goldonna
10 p.m. Thursday – Creston Hwy. 9 to Campti, Bells Camp community
10 p.m. Saturday – Colfax Hwy 492 to Rock Hill community, Meade Rd
On Tuesday, SWEPCO extended its estimated time of restoration for Hornbeck and surrounding communities to 10 p.m. Sunday, based on additional damage assessment and observations by crews working in the area. More localized information will be provided when available.
Estimates are for 95% of customers who can take power. Many customers will be restored sooner.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 25,000 customers remain without power in eight Central Louisiana parishes, which took the full force of Hurricane Laura as a Category 2 storm.
SWEPCO has restored power to 17,000 Central Louisiana customers. At the peak after the hurricane, 42,000 customer were without power in Bienville, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn parishes.
The remaining outages include 14,000 customers in the Hornbeck area, 10,000 in the Natchitoches area and less than 1,000 in the Mansfield area.
“Our base camps in Leesville, Natchitoches and Shreveport and our regular SWEPCO operations centers across Central Louisiana continue to provide staging areas for thousands of workers from 15 states and Canada,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations.
“We relocated all resources from our base camp in Bossier City to the Northwestern State University campus in Natchitoches Thursday to support existing operations in Natchitoches and Hornbeck,” he said. “Each base camp provides housing, showers, meals, fuel for vehicles, and all construction materials for hundreds of personnel.”
At the peak, 94% of SWEPCO’s Central Louisiana customers were without power. Twenty of the region’s 26 substations were off-line, and 64 of the region’s 71 distribution circuits were off-line. All but three substations have been re-energized. Work continues on all primary and laterals lines on circuits across the region, along with exploring alternate feeds or solutions to restore power. SWEPCO is continuing to work with Entergy and Cleco at points where the companies’ systems are connected.
For all of SWEPCO, power has been restored to 111,000 customers, or about 82%, of those without power after Hurricane Laura struck Thursday, Aug. 27.
· Customers without power who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements for extended outages. Louisiana residents can call 211 to find cooling centers and other assistance.
· Be careful when driving or walking in all utility crew work zones.
· 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.
· Workers are practicing social distancing and other measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus, making the recovery effort especially challenging.
· Downed power lines – Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water. Stay away and keep others away. Call SWEPCO immediately
· 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 Customer Repairs Are Needed
· 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.