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Southwestern Electric Power Company, SWEPCO, has been working at a feverish pace for over twenty four hours now, and though they've been successful restoring power to more than half of those who were in the dark, they've still got work to do.

At one point, there were just over 60,000 SWEPCO customers without power, but as of 5:30 pm yesterday, SWEPCO crews had reduced that number to approximately 34,000 customers. And as of this writing at 5:30 am on Tuesday, January 12, they've knocked that number down to 17,775 customers.

More than 400 line and tree personnel from SWEPCO, its sister company Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and outside contract crews are working to restore service.

“This storm was anything but normal,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “Usually, we see some accumulation of snow or ice north of I-20. However, Carthage recorded 4.5 inches of snow. And according to the National Weather Service, parts of Natchitoches Parish saw 4 inches of snow, and Shreveport had 3 inches.”

The heavy, wet snow caused outages as far south as Hornbeck in Central Louisiana.

“Our employees and contractors are making steady progress getting the lights back on despite last night’s heavy snow, which has turned into slush and mud,” Seidel said.

Most outages were caused by tree branches weighed down by snow coming into contact with a power line. Safety devices automatically de-energize the power line when this occurs.

Additional outages may occur as snow melts and tree limbs weighed down with snow come into contact with power lines on their way back up.

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