As of Feb. 17 at 8 p.m., about 21,300 SWEPCO customers are without power after a winter storm brought freezing rain, ice, sleet and snow to the Ark-La-Tex. SWEPCO continues to monitor the weather, which may cause additional outages.
SWEPCO has nearly 2,400 workers ready to restore power. Workers positioned before the storm in Texarkana and Longview will move to staging areas in Shreveport, Mansfield and Center, Texas.
The majority of outages are in Natchitoches and Sabine parishes in Louisiana.
“We’ll begin assessing damage early Thursday morning and mobilizing our crews,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “This may go slowly because of the ice and snow on roads, but we will begin repairs as safely and quickly as possible.”
How SWEPCO Restores Power
As soon as it is safe to do so, we begin clearing immediate hazards, like downed power lines, and assessing damage. You may see our trucks traveling through your area and then leave. These workers are looking for damage and access for line workers and tree crews. Other crews will be dispatched to repair the power lines and facilities.
Our priority is restoring service to hospitals, police and fire stations and other essential public health and safety facilities.
Workers begin by repairing major power lines and substations. They work to restore power to the largest numbers of customers in the shortest time. Then, they repair local lines and equipment that serve multiple customers. Finally, crews will work to restore service to individual homes and businesses.
Estimated times of restoration will be provided as soon as possible as damage assessment and repairs proceed.
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.
· Assume that any downed utility line is energized. Stay away and keep children and pets away from downed lines. Report it immediately to SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919.
· Be extremely careful when using any alternate forms of heating, cooking and lighting.
· 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.
If your power goes out
· If you lose power, please turn off heating, water heating and large appliances to enable smoother service restoration. Once power is restored, switch the devices back on gradually over the following 30 to 45 minutes. Taking this step helps prevent a sudden surge in demand after power is restored, which could result in a second outage.