Over 60,000 Without Electricity Amidst Winter Storm
One of the worst parts of winter storms in Northwest Louisiana is not just that it's cold. It's that it's cold and then the power goes out.
At this writing at approximately 4:00 am on Monday, January 11, Southwestern Electric Power Company is reporting a total of just under 58,000 customers are without electricity due to the winter storm.
The area most heavy affected is south of I-20 extending from East Texas to Red River and Natchitoches Parishes.
CLECO is also presently reporting approximately 6,000 of its customers are without power this morning in essentially the same area.
I wasn't able to discern the number of Panola-Harrison customers that might be without electricity at this time.
In a statement from SWEPCO, we learn:
Most outages are being caused by tree branches weighed down by snow coming into contact with a power line. Safety devices automatically de-energize the power lined when this occurs.
“SWEPCO teams are working tonight to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations.
“In the morning, crews from other SWEPCO locations as well as our sister company Public Service Company of Oklahoma and contractors will help us continue to restore power.”
SWEPCO also reminds customers that 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.