Hurricane Update No. 12
11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020
Shreveport, La., (Sept. 2, 2020) – SWEPCO’s workforce is continuing to restore service to approximately 27,500 customers who remain without power in eight Central Louisiana parishes, which took the full force of Hurricane Laura as a Category 2 storm.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, SWEPCO has restored power to 14,500 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.
The remaining outages include almost 15,000 in the Hornbeck area, about 12,000 in the Natchitoches area and less than 1,000 in the Mansfield area.
On Tuesday, SWEPCO extended its estimated time of restoration for the Hornbeck area to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6, based on additional damage assessment and observations by crews working in the area. Many customers will be back on before then.
“In Hornbeck, Natchitoches, Mansfield and all the surrounding communities, we are committing additional resources to restore power as safely and quickly as possible,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations.
SWEPCO has operated multiple base camps as staging areas for more than 3,000 workers from 15 states and Canada. In addition to the already-established base camp at Leesville, SWEPCO relocated all resources from a base camp in Bossier City to the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches Thursday to support operations in Natchitoches and Hornbeck. Each base camp provides housing, showers, meals, fuel for vehicles, and all construction materials for hundreds of personnel.
SWEPCO is continuing to work with Entergy and Cleco at points where the companies’ systems are connected. “We do not wait on substations to be energized where we are interconnected,” Seidel said. “Crews are working on all circuits fed by those substations – rebuilding the primary and lateral lines to be ready – and exploring any alternate feeds or solutions to restore power as safely and quickly as possible.”
For all of SWEPCO, power has been restored to 108,000 customers, or 79%, of those without power after Hurricane Laura struck Thursday, Aug. 27.
- 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 to Call an Electrician
- 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.
Report outages at SWEPCO.com or through the SWEPCO app, available on Google Play and the App Store.
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.