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SWEPCO Pushes Back Power Restoration Estimates For Central Louisiana

Courtesy: SWEPCO

POWER RESTORATION PUSHED BACK – Southwestern Electric Power Company  (sSWEPCO ) has pushed the estimated power restoration times for many Central Louisiana communities to the weekend because crews have encountered more damage and difficulties with accessing work sites in the wake of Hurricane Laura.  According to a statement released late yesterday – those workers in the field have been reporting major damage to the power grid caused when Hurricane Laura pushed through Louisiana. SWEPCO Spokesperson Karen Wissing explained on Social Media  why power restoration is taking longer than expected.

Credit Courtesy: SWEPCO Facebook
Courtesy: SWEPCO Facebook
Karen Wissing, Corporate Communications Dept., SWEPCO

"We're having to use special equipment such as track machines and boats to get through high water, mud, and downed trees," Wissner explained. "Using the special equipment slows down our process however it keeps our employees and personnel from other states safe."

Earlier estimates were that 95% of the power grid would be restored in Central and North Central Parishes by mid week.  As of 6pm Wednesday, approximately 25,000 customers remain without power in eight Central Louisiana parishes, which took the full force of Hurricane Laura as a Category 2 storm.  At the peak after the hurricane, 42,000 customers  were without power in Bienville, DeSoto, Grant, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn parishes.

Credit Courtesy: SWEPCO
Courtesy: SWEPCO
DIFFICULT ACCESS - Crews are having to get through areas with water, mud, and downed trees to work on downed power lines in central Louisiana.

The remaining outages include 14,000 customers in the Hornbeck area, 10,000 in the Natchitoches area and less than 1,000 in the Mansfield area.

According to a power outage map less than 1,000 customers in Caddo Parish and more than 500 in Bossier Parish are without power.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.