SWEPCO’s workforce is continuing to restore service to approximately 25,000 customers who remain without power in Central Louisiana communities struck by Hurricane Laura.
“Hurricane Laura has been an historic storm for Louisiana and for SWEPCO,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “This hurricane caused more damage to SWEPCO’s transmission and distribution system than any storm in our company’s history. This is also the largest number of outside resources we have called in to a SWEPCO storm restoration,” Smoak said.
The hurricane damaged 23 transmission lines, 20 substations and more than 500 utility poles. Transmission lines and substations move energy from power plants to homes and businesses served by SWEPCO.
Workers have repaired SWEPCO’s transmission system and 17 out of 20 substations. The company continues to coordinate repairs with Cleco and Energy, which operate stations near Derry and Verda. Both are expected to be energized today.
Significant damage is delaying repairs to a substation near Leesville. SWEPCO is installing a 1 megawatt (MW) mobile generator to deliver power to customers in this area.
“Should you receive a text alert or email saying your power has been restored when it has not, please report your outage again at SWEPCO.com or by using the SWEPCO app,” Smoak said. “If you’re staying with a friend or relative, please ask a neighbor to check if your home has power before returning to the area.”
“We really appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding of the magnitude of this recovery effort, and we are working to provide more detailed information for customers as we go,” Smoak said.
Estimated Times of Restoration:
SWEPCO has extended estimated times of restoration into the weekend and provided details 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. Wednesday – Keyser Ave and Blanchard Rd, Sudberry subdivision
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. Wednesday – Belmont Hwy. 120 to Marthaville
10 p.m. Thursday – Belmont Hwy. 175 south to Many and Hwy 175 north to Pleasant Hill
10 p.m. Wednesday – Powhattan Hwy. 1 North to Hwy 174 and Hwy 174 west to Ajax; Powhattan Hwy 1 south to Natchitoches
10 p.m. Wednesday – Creston Hwy 9 north to Reidhimer and Saline; Creston Hwy 9 Hwy. 156 to Goldonna
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 25,000 customers remain without power in eight Central Louisiana parishes, including 14,000 in the Hornbeck area, 10,000 in the Natchitoches area and less than 1,000 in the Mansfield area.
SWEPCO has restored power to 17,000 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 111,000 customers, or about 82%, 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.