SHREVEPORT, La., Aug. 29, 2021 – Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) is ready to respond to power outages from tropical storm-force winds in Central Louisiana as Hurricane Ida moves inland Sunday night and Monday morning.
“While the expected path of this powerful storm is primarily through the eastern part of Louisiana, we are prepared to respond to any power outages resulting from Ida’s potential tropical storm-force winds in our area,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution Region Operations.
Wind gusts of 40 to 65 mph are anticipated primarily for customers in Winn, Grant, eastern Natchitoches and eastern Vernon parishes.
SWEPCO is revising its operations plans in the Natchitoches area from a full base camp to a staging area with crew meals and vehicle fuel for almost 350 line, tree and support personnel.
“As the storm moves through, and it is safe to do so, we will restore power as safely and quickly as possible,” Seidel said.
“We ask that customers be extremely careful around any downed lines, as well as in any use of portable generators or alternate forms of lighting, cooking or cooling,” Seidel said. “Also, please check on family and neighbors, especially those who may rely on uninterrupted electric service for health reasons.”
- Caution! – Always use caution with any alternate sources of lighting, cooking, cooling or heating. Never operate lanterns, heaters, generators, fuel-fired stoves or burn charcoal without proper ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
- Portable generator safety – If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your home's main electrical panel. This can "back-feed" electricity into outside utility lines, creating the danger of electrocution for repair crews and the public. Instead, read the manufacturer's instructions, and only plug essential appliances directly into the generator.
- Downed lines – All downed lines should be considered dangerous — they can carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you see a fallen wire, stay away and keep others away, including children and pets. Call SWEPCO at 1-888-218-3919 or 911 immediately.
- Safe distance – Keep your distance from SWEPCO workers or contractors as they make repairs. They are following strict safety and social distancing guidelines. Please practice proper social distancing to allow them to complete their work safely. And be careful when driving or walking near all utility work zones.
- Make sure your contact information – including your cell number – is current with family, friends and others.
- Stay connected, report outages and check power restoration status:
How SWEPCO Restores Power
Immediately after the storm, field personnel will begin clearing downed power lines and other hazards and assessing damage. Report hazards by calling 1-888-218-3919. Treat all downed lines as dangerous and energized.
“Our priority remains restoring power to essential public health and safety facilities such as hospitals and police and fire stations,” Seidel said.
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.
“You may see a truck stop briefly and then leave; this crew is usually assessing damage,” Seidel said. “Once damage is assessed, other crews will be dispatched to restore power. We appreciate your patience throughout this process.”