SHREVEPORT, La., 1:15 p.m. Feb. 18, 2021 — SWEPCO workers and contractors early Thursday began checking on damage and mobilizing crews to restore service to the 22,600 customers without power.
“As we saw the forecast for ice move south, we positioned workers in Shreveport, Natchitoches and Center. These line, tree and support workers are out assessing damaging and restoring power,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations.
SWEPCO has 1,500 internal and external resources working in our hardest-hit areas. Additional crews called to help SWEPCO were unable to reach our staging areas due to hazardous road conditions.
The areas most affected by the winter storm include DeSoto, Natchitoches and Sabine parishes and Shelby County, Texas.
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 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.
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.