Shreveport, La., (Jan. 11, 2021) – A winter storm dumped up to four inches of heavy, wet snow across Louisiana and East Texas, leaving 57,800 SWEPCO customers without power as of 9 a.m. Monday.
SWEPCO estimates power for most Louisiana customers will be restored by 10 p.m. Tuesday and by 10 p.m. Wednesday for most East Texas customers.
“SWEPCO employees and contractors began working Sunday evening to restore power,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “We’ve called in more line and tree resources to help us restore power as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Most outages were caused by tree branches weighed down by snow coming into contact with power lines. Safety devices automatically de-energize the power lines when this occurs.
Additional outages may occur today as snow melts and tree limbs weighed down with snow come into contact with power lines on their way back up.
As of 9 a.m. Monday, approximately 29,100 customers in Louisiana and 27,000 in East Texas were without power. At the peak, approximately 60,400 customers were out of power.
“Safety is our first priority. Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks,” Seidel said. “All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Downed wires may be covered in snow and difficult to see.”
“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,” Seidel said.
Report downed lines and equipment and other hazards 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 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.
SWEPCO continues to use the Covid-19 precautions we have used during multiple hurricanes and other major storms, Seidel said.
How to report, track outages
· Use the SWEPCO app, available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
· Sign up for text and email updates, including estimated time of restoration, at SWEPCO.com/Alerts.
· Visit SWEPCO.com/OutageMap to find detailed information without logging into your account.
· Call 1-888-218-3919 to report your outage.
For updates and photos, see SWEPCO.com and follow SWEPCO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
· 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.