Hurricane Update No. 15
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020
Shreveport, La., (Sept. 3, 2020) – Repairs have been completed to 19 of the 20 substations knocked out of service by Hurricane Laura. Crews continue to repair power lines that deliver electricity from those substations to homes and businesses across Central Louisiana.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday, 21,000 customers remained without service.
“We are installing a 1-megawatt generator as an alternate source of power for a substation near Leesville – the last substation serving SWEPCO customers that was damaged by the hurricane,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Region Operations. “As we’ve worked to repair the substations, hundreds of line crews continue to rebuild the power lines fed by the substations.”
Approximately 1,100 poles were damaged or broken by Hurricane Laura, Seidel said. Replacing utility poles is some of the most time-consuming work in storm restoration.
“It may take a crew working safely and quickly five hours to replace a single pole,” Seidel said. “Repair work takes longer if a tree crew needs to cut trees away from downed lines or the broken pole is difficult to access – across standing water or mired in mud.”
Crews add cross-arms, insulators and other hardware to the poles, install transformers in some locations, and get the conductors back up in the air. Throughout the process, workers focus on safety, especially regarding lines that may be energized.
“With the magnitude of this storm, we are working as safely and quickly as possible in hundreds of locations to replace poles and other equipment to restore power to our customers,” Seidel said.
Estimated Times of Restoration
SWEPCO has provided details on estimated times of restoration for communities in the Natchitoches area. More localized information for communities in the Hornbeck area will be provided when available.
Estimates are for 95% of customers who can take power. Many customers will be restored sooner.
Hornbeck and surrounding communities:
10 p.m. Sunday (more detailed information to come)
10 p.m. Friday – Hagewood Hwy 6 to Hwy 504 Oak Grove community
10 p.m. Saturday – Hwy 120 Provencal and east to Cypress
10 p.m. Sunday – Provencal and south on Hwy. 117 to Belwood; Hagewood Hwy. 6 to Robeline
10 p.m. Saturday – Hwy. 471 Verda to Atlanta, La; Verda Hwy. 471 and Hwy 122 to Dry Prong
10 p.m. Sunday – Verda Hwy 122 to Montgomery
10 p.m. Thursday – Derry La Hwy 1 north to Cypress, La
10 p.m. Friday – Derry La Hwy. 119 to Melrose
10 p.m. Saturday – Derry La Hwy. 1 south to Marco
10 p.m. Friday – Many Marthaville Rd
10 p.m. Sunday – Many Hwy 6 runs east to Robeline Ft. Jessup area
10 p.m. Thursday – Marthaville Hwy 487 to Ajax
10 p.m. Saturday – Marthaville Hwy. 120 to Robeline; Marthaville Hwy 120 to Natchitoches Parish/Sabine Parish line
Cane River –
10 p.m. Saturday- Hwy. 1 south to Natchez and Hwy 1 bypass to I-49
Grand Ecore –
10 p.m. Thursday – Hwy 6 at Grand Ecore and Hwy. 3191 Oak Grove community
10 p.m. Sunday – Hwy. 6 west of Grand Ecore and Clarence community, St. Maurice, Montgomery
10 p.m. Friday – Campti Hwy 71 south to Clarence
10 p.m. Saturday – Campti Hwy. 71 north to Fairview; Campti Hwy. 480 east to Sandy Point
10 p.m. Thursday – Belmont Hwy. 175 south to Many and Hwy 175 north to Pleasant Hill
10 p.m. Thursday – Creston Hwy. 9 to Campti, Bells Camp community
10 p.m. Saturday – Colfax Hwy 492 to Rock Hill community, Meade Rd
Approximately 21,000 customers remain without power in eight Central Louisiana parishes, including 12,800 in the Hornbeck area, 7,300 in the Natchitoches area and 900 in the Mansfield area.
SWEPCO has restored power to 21,000 Central Louisiana customers. At the peak after the hurricane, 42,000 customer were without power in Bienville, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn parishes.
For all of SWEPCO, power has been restored to 115,000 customers, or about 85%, of those without power after Hurricane Laura struck SWEPCO’s service area as a Category 2 storm on Thursday, Aug. 27.
- 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
- Customers without power who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements for extended outages. Louisiana residents can call 211 to find cooling centers and other assistance.
- Be careful when driving or walking in all utility crew work zones.
- 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.
- Workers are practicing social distancing and other measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus, making the recovery effort especially challenging.
- Downed power lines – Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water. Stay away and keep others away. Call SWEPCO immediately
- Portable generators – 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.
When Customer Repairs Are Needed
- SWEPCO cannot connect power to a home or business if there is damage to the service entrance, which is owned by the customer.
- Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored. The service entrance includes the metal box housing SWEPCO’s meter, the “weatherhead” pipe on top of the meter box, the service entrance cables running from the weatherhead through the meter box to the inside panel box, and other related facilities. Similar responsibilities apply to underground service.
- After repairs are made, contact SWEPCO to have power restored.
For updates and photos, see SWEPCO.com and 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, LinkedIn.com/company/swepco and SWEPCOConnections.com.