SHREVEPORT, La., Feb. 19, 2021 – Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) workers and contractors continue to restore power to approximately 19,000 customers without service following a winter storm that brought freezing rain, ice, sleet and snow to the Ark-La-Tex.
Ice and snow brought down multiple trees and wires, particularly in the hardest-hit areas of Central Louisiana. Customers are reminded to stay away from downed lines and keep children and pets away as well. Report downed lines immediately to SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919.
“Restoration work in our hardest-hit areas of DeSoto, Natchitoches and Sabine parishes has been slow going due to the ice and snow on the roads, but rising temperatures today and tomorrow will improve road conditions enabling us to speed up work,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “We appreciate the continued patience of customers as SWEPCO employees and contractors work as safely and quickly as possible to get their lights on.”
As temperatures rise, the melted snow and ice in some areas may turn to mud, which may limit access to off-road work sites where repairs are needed and cause delays.
SWEPCO has 1,500 internal and external personnel working to restore power to customers.
SWEPCO estimates power will be restored for 95% of customers by the following times:
· Caddo and Bossier parishes – 10 p.m. Friday
· Center, Texas – 10 p.m. Friday
· Bienville, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon, Webster and Winn parishes – 10 p.m. Monday
Thousands of customers will see service restored each day. Restoration in heavily-damaged areas will continue into next week.
How SWEPCO Restores Power
SWEPCO prioritizes restoration efforts to safely get the largest number of customers on in the shortest amount of time and addresses restoration in these four steps:
First, assess damage and restore critical services, such as hospitals and fire departments
Second, restore outages that affect large groups of customers
Third, fix problems that affect smaller numbers of customers and
Fourth, make repairs that affect individual customers
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 downed lines 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.
For updates and photos, follow SWEPCO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)
SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves more than 543,000 customers in northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and western Arkansas. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com. Connect with us at Facebook.com/SWEPCO, Twitter.com/SWEPCOnews, Instagram.com/swepco, Youtube.com/SWEPCOtv and LinkedIn.com/company/swepco.