SWEPCO crews are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible to the 38,800 customers who remain without power after severe storms swept through the East Texas area Wednesday afternoon.
The storms caused extensive damage to the electric system, including hundreds of broken utility poles and downed wires.
By 1:30 p.m. Thursday, power had been restored to 31,200 customers. At the peak, approximately 70,000 customers were without power. Among the hardest hit areas was Longview, Texas.
See the list below for estimated times of restoration (ETRs) by area.
More than 300 linemen and other personnel have been called in to help in the restoration. Crews from other SWEPCO districts are helping to restore power in the hardest hit areas.
Remaining outages include 23,600 customers in Texas, 14,700 in Louisiana and 500 in Arkansas.
Estimated times of restoration for 95% of customers that can take service (many customers’ power will be restored sooner):
Carthage – 130 – Noon, Saturday
Gilmer – 79 – Noon, Saturday
Gladewater – 2,629 – Noon, Sunday
Henderson – 512 – Noon, Friday
Kilgore – 884 – Noon, Saturday
Longview – 18,662 – 10 p.m., Monday
Marshall – 674 – Noon Saturday
Mineola – 18 – 10 p.m., Saturday
Texarkana – 463 – 6 p.m. Thursday
SAFETY – DOWNED POWER LINES: Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call AEP to report any downed lines or equipment. Call SWEPCO or 911 immediately.
SAFETY – PORTABLE GENERATORS: 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.
Damaged service entrance – SWEPCO cannot connect power to any home or business where there is damage to the service entrance. The service entrance is the area located 1) at the meter, 2) between the meter and the home’s electrical panel, or 3) the location where ‘s cable connects to the home/business owner’s cable. These are customer-owned facilities. Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored to the home or business.
Crews at work – Residents without power are asked not to stop crew trucks as this will only slow down repairs. SWEPCO asks for your patience and understanding during the restoration process. In many areas, crews must rebuild significant portions of electric facilities to restore power.