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Customers encouraged to make final storm preparations

Hurricane Graphic_shutterstock_712360393_Web
Aug 27, 2021
Ida upgraded to hurricane; Cleco working to secure more workers

PINEVILLE, La. – Aug. 27, 2021 – Cleco strongly encourages customers to make their final storm preparations, as Ida was recently upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane and is forecasted to grow into a major hurricane.
 
Hurricanes reaching Category 3 status and higher are considered major.  Ida is projected to be a Category 3 Hurricane when it makes landfall in southeast Louisiana on Sunday.

“Now is the time to prepare, especially our customers in south Louisiana,” said Clint Robichaux, manager of distribution operations support.  “Experience has taught us that preparation can save lives and lessen damage, so we encourage customers to make their final preparations and identify a place to take shelter until the storm has passed.”

The company has secured approximately 1,100 contractors and is working to add more resources to its storm restoration team.

“In addition to Cleco personnel and based on the current storm track, we’re working to increase our contractor resources.  This includes damage assessors, power line technicians and vegetation specialists who are equipped to work on our transmission and distribution systems,” said Robichaux.  “As the storm’s path becomes more defined, we look at the intensity and path of a storm to estimate and adjust the number of workers needed to safely and efficiently clear debris, repair damaged systems and restore power to our customers.”

In following Cleco’s Emergency Response Plan, multiple teams are preparing for Ida by setting up staging sites to house materials and other equipment, securing lodging for out-of-area workers, coordinating catering services for meals and making sure specialized equipment like helicopters, drones, off-road and high-water vehicles are on stand-by, if needed. 

Safety tips to follow before, during and after a storm:

  • Have flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
  • Make a list of important phone numbers and family contact numbers.
  • Make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged.
  • Plan for medical or special needs.
  • Report power outages by calling 1-800-622-6537 or by texting “OUT” from your cell phone to 25326 (Cleco).To sign up for text message notifications, text “REG” to 25326.
  • 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.
  • If water is rising, turn off electricity at the main breaker, evacuate and stay away until waters have completely receded.