At 5 p.m. Saturday, 11,400 customers remain without power after a line of severe storms struck the Ark-La-Tex Wednesday, leaving 70,000 customers without electricity. SWEPCO has restored service to 58,600 customers.
More than 500 line and service personnel in the field are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Much of the remaining work involves areas with difficult access or extensive work at a single location to restore service to smaller numbers of customers. Heavy rain Saturday resulted in some additional outages.
Some of the heaviest damage included the Longview area, where straight line winds snapped and uprooted trees and caused significant structural damage. Across the Ark-La-Tex, the storm left trees down, hundreds of broken utility poles and wire down.
Estimated times of restoration for 95% of customers that can take service (many customers’ power will be restored sooner):
Gladewater – 417 – Noon Sunday
Longview – 9,794 – 10 p.m. Monday
Natchitoches – 748 – 10 p.m. Saturday
IMPORTANT SAFETY REMINDERS:
DOWNED POWER LINES: Never touch a downed line, or go near it, no matter how harmless it looks. The line could be energized. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water. Stay away, and keep others away, especially children and pets. Call SWEPCO or 911 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.
DAMAGED SERVICE ENTRANCE – SWEPCO cannot connect power to any home or business where there is damage to the service entrance. The service entrance is the area located 1) at the meter, 2) between the meter and the home’s electrical panel, or 3) the location where ‘s cable connects to the home/business owner’s cable. These are customer-owned facilities. Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored to the home or business.
CREWS AT WORK – Residents without power are asked not to stop crew trucks as this will only slow down repairs. SWEPCO asks for your patience and understanding during the restoration process. In many areas, crews must rebuild significant portions of electric facilities to restore power.
SWEPCO Mobile App – Report outages, check outage status, and more. Download at App store or Google Play. SeeSWEPCO.com/App
SWEPCO Alerts – Get an email or text message with the latest info for your home or business. See SWEPCO.com/Alerts.
SWEPCO.com – View an outage map, report outages and find additional safety information.