SWEPCO utility crews continuously work to restore power to over 126,000 customers after extreme weather hit Northwest Louisiana

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Efforts continue to restore power for tens of thousands of SWEPCO customers in North Louisiana following last Thursday’s severe weather. The weather, which included a confirmed EF-1 tornado as well as hurricane-level winds, delivered a punch to both the transmission and distribution stations. Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says damage to lines has caused significant outages but work is underway.

“Our big problem now in North Louisiana is that all the transmission lines – 18 of the big transmission lines are snapped. If you can imagine the big poles snapped. It’s unbelievable.”

Over 126,000 customers are currently without power. Most of the outages are in Caddo and Bossier Parishes. Approximately 60 Transmission and Distribution stations were impacted, and 50 transmission lines were forced out of service. Campbell says crews are working to repair lines damaged by trees.

“Pine trees that are hundreds of years old that you can’t put your hands around uprooted. Big oak trees – uprooted. You can’t get down some of the streets. So first of all, we’re having to clear the streets for folks to get out.”

With the potential of additional storms this week, more customers could experience disruption of service and prolonged restoration timelines. Campbell says workers are working hard to restore power to residents and businesses who are still experiencing outages.

“Some of the stores have had to pull out all of the meat, cheese, and everything like that that had to be refrigerated. So we’re in a mess. We’re in a mess. And it’s not going to end today but it’s tough. I’ve never seen it like this before in North Louisiana.”

Natchitoches customers are scheduled to receive power by tomorrow but Shreveport customers may not receive power until Saturday.

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