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power restored to about 13,000

Here’s Cleco’s 10 a.m. Saturday update:

Cleco is assessing damage to its electrical system caused by Hurricane Delta.

Initial reports indicate that at the height of the storm, 132,198 customers lost power as Delta moved across the state. As of 10 a.m., power has been restored to 12,624 customers. Based on the number of customers without power, Cleco’s hardest hit parishes were Rapides, Iberia, Evangeline, St. Landry and Avoyelles.

“We’re surveying the damage, and based on our initial outage reports, Delta caused outages across our entire service area,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “We have three districts – northern, southern and eastern. Customers in all three districts are without power.”

In addition to Cleco personnel, the company has approximately 2,100 contractors working to clear debris, repair system damage and restore power. Cleco also has specialized equipment to access rural areas, including track hoes, bulldozers and marsh buggies.

“We understand this is difficult, especially for those customers who have experienced back-to-back hurricanes,” said Lass. “We’re doing everything we can to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

Safety tips to follow after a storm:
· Report power outages by calling 1-800-622-6537 or online at cleco.com through MyAccount.
· Operate portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas and plug appliances directly into generators with grounded extension cords. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.
· Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911.

For additional information on Cleco’s storm response, follow the company on Facebook @ClecoPower or visit Cleco’s Storm Center page at cleco.com.

Here’s the 6 a.m. Saturday update:

Almost 125,000 Cleco customers are without power in the wake of Hurricane Delta’s Friday evening landfall.

In addition to Cleco personnel, the company has a storm workforce of roughly 2,100 contractors, which includes damage assessors, distribution line mechanics, distribution and transmission vegetation specialists and transmission contractors, ready to assess damage, clear debris and restore power, the company says.

“The safety of our crews, contractors and customers is priority in everything we do. Now that the storm has passed and conditions are improving, damage assessments will begin by land and air, and crews will begin making any necessary system repairs and restoring power,” said James Lass,” director of distribution operations and emergency management. “We follow our storm restoration plan, focusing our efforts on critical infrastructure such as water and sewage systems, hospitals and medical facilities, and then moving to the circuits with the largest number of customers until power is restored to all customers.” Below are customer outages by parish as of 6 a.m.

Parish Number of Customers Without Power

Acadia 6,045

Allen 5,675

Avoyelles 9,644

Beauregard 5,065

Calcasieu 2,428

Catahoula 18

Desoto 15

Evangeline 13,089

Grant 5,957

Iberia 22,510

Jefferson Davis 39

Lasalle 15

Natchitoches 148

Rapides 23,742

Red River 20

Sabine 127

St. Landry 11,487

St. Martin 3,528

St. Mary 6,959

St. Tammany 3,210

Vermilion 9

Vernon 5,131

Total 124,861

“One of the most dangerous parts of a storm is oftentimes right after it passes,” said Lass. “Downed power lines and areas of debris should be avoided.”

Customers are encouraged to follow the safety tips below after a storm:

· Operate generators in well-ventilated areas, away from combustible material and keep free of oil, mud and other foreign matter. Plug appliances directly into portable generators with grounded extension cords that can handle the load. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet. It could back feed electricity through your home’s wiring to the entire Cleco circuit and cause injury or death to a worker attempting to repair that circuit. Don’t exceed the rated capacity of the generator and only refuel when the engine is off and cool.

· Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911. Don’t step in nearby puddles or attempt to move any object that comes in contact with a downed power line.

· If water is rising, turn off electricity at the main breaker, evacuate and stay away until waters have completely receded. Have a licensed electrician check the wiring before using electricity.

Customers can find the latest storm updates on the company’s Storm Center page at cleco.com and Cleco’s Facebook page @ClecoPower.

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