SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – SWEPCO held a media briefing Friday afternoon to provide an update on the utility’s response to damage and outages caused by Hurricane Laura and share town-by-town restoration estimates.
SWEPCO says about 100,000 SWEPCO customers in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas are without power and about 98,000 of them are in Louisiana. Of those, about 58,000 are without in Shreveport-Bossier. At the peak, 136,000 SWEPCO customers in Louisiana and East Texas were without power.
SWEPCO now estimates power will be restored for customers in Shreveport by 9 p.m. Wednesday and at the following dates and times in surrounding areas:
- Haughton: 10 p.m. Tuesday
- Vivian & Plain Dealing: 5 pm Sunday
- Bossier City: 10 p.m. Tuesday
SWEPCO initially estimated that most customers in the Shreveport-Bossier area would have power restored by the middle of next week.
“These are best estimates based on the damage that we’ve seen, the assessments that we’ve made,” said SWEPCO External Affairs Manager Michael Corbin. “These are fluid numbers and we could see them change. We’ve seen them change from last night to today.”
Customers in DeSoto, Bienville, Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine Parishes are estimated to have power by 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3.
“Hurricane Laura was unprecedented, causing widespread damage to the power grid. Scattered thunderstorms forecast for today could cause new outages and hamper our progress on repairs,” SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations Drew Seidel said in a statement released by the utility earlier Friday.
As crews respond to hundreds of downed trees, poles and wires, SWEPCO employees also are continuing to assess the damage across Louisiana.
Century Link Center has become a SWEPCO staging area with temporary facilities for about 600 out-state workers to eat, shower and sleep. It is one of three in Louisiana, in total housing 3,000 workers from 14 states and Canada here to help SWEPCO employees restore power.
Seidel said, “We recognize that high heat is a challenge for the public and our crews working to restore power. Please check on your family and neighbors who are without power and who spend a lot of time alone.”
Customers without power who are on life support systems or need uninterrupted electric service for health reasons should make alternate arrangements.
Hurricane Laura smashed into SWEPCO’s Valley District Thursday morning as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph maximum sustained winds. It continued through northwest Louisiana and southwest Arkansas as a Category 1 hurricane and tropical storm.
Report outages and check for updates at SWEPCO.com or through the SWEPCO app, available on Google Play and the App Store.