Shreveport, La. (Oct. 10, 2020) – A work force of more than 1,000 line, tree and support personnel are restoring power for 14,700 Central Louisiana customers left without power in the wake of Hurricane Delta early Saturday.
Power is estimated to be restored for 95% of customers in the Natchitoches area by 10 p.m. Wednesday and 10 p.m. Thursday for customers in the Hornbeck area. Customers may log onto SWEPCO.com/OutageMap to find their specific estimated restoration time.
As of 7 p.m. Saturday, 10,000 in the Hornbeck area and 4,600 in the Natchitoches area remained without power. At the peak, approximately 22,000 customers were without power.
“We are clearing hazards, assessing damaging and repairs power lines,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “We know our customers in this same area had a very difficult time just six weeks ago with Hurricane Laura, and we are committed to restoring power as safely and quickly as possible.”
Power Restoration Process
SWEPCO established base camps near Mansfield and in Leesville to stage operations for the recovery effort.
The restoration process focuses first on essential public health and safety facilities such as hospitals and police and fire stations.
As damage assessment proceeds, workers will repair major power lines that restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest time. Crews will fix power lines and equipment that serve multiple customers, and then individual service lines to homes and businesses.
· All power lines should be considered energized and dangerous. Although a downed line may look harmless, it could be carrying electricity. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences, or water puddles. Stay away and keep children and pets away from downed lines. Report downed lines 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 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.
· Be extremely careful when using any alternate forms of cooling, heating, cooking and lighting.
· During an outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep cold air inside. Check out sources of ice or dry ice, if needed. Food should stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer, 24 hours in a half-full freezer – if you keep the door closed.
· Customers who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements for potential extended outages.
· 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.
More information on what do to prepare for an outage may be found at SWEPCO.com/Outages.
Reporting and Tracking Outages
· Use the SWEPCO app, available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
· Log on to SWEPCO.com to report an outage and sign up for text and email updates, including an estimated time of restoration.
· Visit SWEPCO.com/OutageMap to find detailed information without logging into your account
· Call 1-888-218-3919 to report your outage. During and immediately after the storm, customers are asked to call the Customer Solution Center only to report downed power lines and other situations that could pose a safety threat.