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Cleco urges customers in flood-prone areas to take precautions

May 11, 2010

PINEVILLE, La.  –The flooding predicted to take place in the coming weeks means some Cleco customers may have water in and around their homes.

Cleco has crews on alert and ready to take action if floodwater becomes a threat to cutomers’ property.

“We have low-lying areas that are prone to flooding thoughout our service territory,” said Anthony Bunting, vice president of customer services and energy delivery. “We are prepared to disconnect power and remove electric meters if it becomes necessary to do so to protect customers, their property and our electric system.”

While local agencies make preparations, Cleco reminds customers to observe safety practices if they are faced with flooding.

“Electricity and water can be a deadly combination,” said Bunting. “We want to be certain our customers protect themselves if water invades their homes.”

The following are tips to help customers avoid electrical accidents involving water:

  • If water is rising near your home or business, turn off electricity at the main breaker; however, never attempt if you must stand in water or on a wet floor to do so.

  • Move as much electrical equipment as possible to floors or areas above the anticipated flood level.

  • Evacuate and do not return until waters have completely receded. Wait until the water recedes and have an electrician check the building before using electricity.

  • Extreme precautions must be observed when returning home to a flood damaged area. Stay well clear of any electrical power wires. Electricity can travel through water. Immediately report any downed wires to Cleco at 1-800-622-6537or call 911.

  • Never enter a flooded basement or other flooded area where water may be in contact with electrical wiring, appliances and other devices.

  • Never use electrical appliances or devices or touch electrical switches, outlets or cords if you are standing in water or are on a wet surface, or even if you are wet or the device is wet.

  • When cleaning up after a flood with equipment like a wet-dry vacuum or a pressure washer, do not allow power cord connections to become wet.