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Customers encouraged to take shelter ahead of Hurricane Zeta

Hurricane Zeta at landfall
Oct 28, 2020

Pineville, La., Oct. 28, 2020 (4 p.m.) – As Hurricane Zeta is now a Category 2 Hurricane, Cleco is strongly encouraging its customers to take shelter ahead of the storm.

Zeta remains on track to make landfall shortly in southeast Louisiana impacting Cleco customers in St. Tammany and Washington parishes.

“We strongly encourage everyone to take shelter until the storm has passed,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “Zeta has been described by meteorologists as a fast-moving storm that will bring strong winds and heavy rainfall.  Tornadoes also are possible, along with downed trees and power lines which can cause power outages.”

Cleco has made its final storm preparations and will begin damage assessment and power restoration as soon as it’s safe.

“The safety of our crews and customers is priority in everything we do,” said Lass.  “Once conditions are safe, we’ll start assessing the damage and begin restoring power as safely and quickly as possible.  As with any large restoration effort, the company’s focus is on responding to unsafe electrical situations and restoring emergency services followed by restoring the greatest number of customers.”

In addition to Cleco personnel, the company has over 500 contractors on standby ready to restore power, including 28 distribution damage assessors, 233 distribution line mechanics, 223 distribution vegetation specialists and 50 transmission resources.  Cleco also has staged crews and secured resources such as fuel and specialized equipment like helicopters, haul trucks, dozers, drones and high-water vehicles in order to respond as soon as conditions are safe.

Safety tips:

  • One of the most dangerous parts of a storm is oftentimes right after it passes.  Downed power lines and areas of debris should be avoided.  Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911.
  • If water is getting close to your home or business, turn off individual breakers and then turn off the electricity at the main breaker. 
  • Do not connect portable generators to your electrical wiring and never operate a generator in an enclosed space like a garage.