12/8/2017
AEP SWEPCO employees to help restore power in Puerto Rico
Bryan Blanton, distribution system manager in Longview, Texas

SHREVEPORT, La. (Dec. 8, 2017) – This Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m., 10 Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) employees will fly from Shreveport Regional Airport to Puerto Rico to help manage restoration of power to the island.

The SWEPCO employees, who are storm restoration experts, will travel to Caguas, a remote, mountainous and heavily impacted region of Puerto Rico. They are one of seven Incident Management Teams from U.S. energy companies traveling to the island to help restore power.

Bryan Blanton, distribution system manager in Longview, Texas, will lead SWEPCO’s team. The team will work 12 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week until early January, managing approximately 530 of the 3,000 workers already on the island restoring power.

AEP, SWEPCO’s parent company, also is sending 3,000 insulators to support Puerto Rico’s power restoration efforts.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to help bring power back to the people of Puerto Rico. We will miss time with our friends and families over the holidays, but the conditions in Puerto Rico are dire, and they need power restored as quickly as possible. We have the expertise to do that, and we are happy to be able to help,” Blanton said.

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico Sept. 20, leaving 3.6 million people without power. Nearly three months later, approximately 30 percent of homes are still without electrical service.

The American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and their member companies have been working together to support the mission of restoring power for the citizens of Puerto Rico, following a request by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). AEP and its subsidiaries are among several U.S. mainland energy companies providing resources and workers to PREPA.

SWEPCO serves 530,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.SWEPCO.com. SWEPCO is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states.

Blanton photo: https://i.imgur.com/lDNxpZJ.jpg

Low-resolution: https://i.imgur.com/AFBiCv7.jpg

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Bryan Blanton, distribution system manager in Longview, Texas