Cleco: Over 70K still without power in aftermath of Hurricane Laura

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PINEVILLE, La. (KLFY) (4 p.m.) – Cleco crews continue a massive restoration effort after Hurricane Laura swept across the company’s service territory yesterday causing extensive damage and widespread outages to nearly 140,000 customers. As of 8 a.m, crews restored power to around 60,000 customers, leaving another 70,000 to go.

“This is the worst storm to hit our state in more than 100 years, so this could be a long recovery process,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “The damage is catastrophic, many areas are not accessible due to trees and water, and in some areas, our crews are encountering instances of bad weather.  The work is massive, and it will take days if not weeks to restore power to all customers especially those in our hardest-hit parishes.”

The latest assessments show Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Grant, Rapides and Vernon parishes were the hardest hit.

Cleco will be able to provide more details on restoration progress in specific towns and cities in the coming days.  In the meantime, the company asks that customers not stop crews, as they are driving and working.  Not only is it not safe, it slows power restoration work.

Power outages as of 8 a.m.:

  • Acadia – 1,055
  • Allen – 5,917
  • Avoyelles – 2,354
  • Beauregard – 5,122
  • Calcasieu – 2,461
  • Catahoula – 18
  • Desoto – 1,336
  • Evangeline – 3,998
  • Grant – 7,659
  • Iberia – 1,001
  • Jefferson Davis – 39
  • Lasalle – 15
  • Natchitoches – 646
  • Rapides – 39,323
  • Red River – 41
  • Sabine – 6,363
  • St. Landry – 559
  • St. Mary – 535
  • Vernon – 5,684

Cleco has over 2,500 external and internal resources dedicated to the restoration process. Cleco is still assessing damage to it electrical system and continues to find hundreds of electrical poles down, along with significant tree damage and downed power lines.

“When the power goes out, some customers rely on a generator for temporary power,” said Lass. “Generators, when used correctly, can provide backup power to a customer’s home or business, but we remind our customers to be safe.”

  • Never run a generator indoors.
  • Thoroughly read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper use of a portable generator.
  • Operate the generator in a well-ventilated area.
  • Plug appliances directly into portable generators with grounded extension cords that can handle the load.
  • Don’t plug a generator cord directly into a wall outlet. A generator can back feed electricity through a home’s electric wiring to the entire Cleco circuit. This can damage a generator and in some instances cause injury or even death to a worker attempting to repair that circuit.
  • Don’t exceed the rated capacity of a generator.
  • Only refuel a generator when the engine is off and cool.

For more safety tips, as well as up-to-the-minute outage information and estimated restoration times, visit Cleco’s Storm Center website at outage.cleco.com or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower

Downed power lines and areas of debris should be avoided.  Report downed power lines by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911.

To view full outage map, click here

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