Hurricane Update No. 3

11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020

  • Outage update 
    • At 11 a.m., more than 125,000 SWEPCO customers were without power.
    • 112,000 of the affected customers are in northwest and central Louisiana.
    • Early reports include widespread damage with trees, utility poles and wires down across major roadways.
    • The number of customers without power continues to climb as heavy rains with hurricane- and tropical-storm-force winds head north.
    • The storm moved into the Valley District as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph maximum sustained winds.
  • Downed power lines
    • 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.
  • Workforce
    • Nearly 2,300 workers from 14 states and Canada will join more than 400 SWEPCO employees to restore power
  • Damage assessment process
  • After the storm moves through, crews will begin assessing damage, which is essential to effectively planning the recovery work.
  • Customers may initially see trucks patrolling for damage to the electric system, hazards such as downed power lines, and issues that could affect access for recovery work.
  • After damage is assessed, crews will be dispatched to begin repairs.
  • Storm restoration process
    • Priority is given to essential public health and safety facilities such as hospitals and police and fire stations.
    • Work starts with the major power lines and substations that serve large areas and restore power to the largest numbers of customers in the shortest time.
    • While crews may not be in the immediate area of individual outages, they may be working elsewhere to complete repairs necessary to restore power to the larger area.   
    • Then crews fix local power lines and equipment and serves multiple customers, and individual service lines to homes and businesses.
  • Working safely
  • 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 in when driving or walking in all utility crew work zones.
  • Generator safety
  • 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.
  • Keeping food cold
  • During a power 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.

Reporting and Tracking Outages

  • Use the SWEPCO app, available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
  • Log on to to report an outage and sign up for text and email updates, including an estimated time of restoration. 
  • Visit 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.  

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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 Connect with us at,,,, and

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