Tropical Storm Bonnie expected to make landfall in southeast Louisiana
PINEVILLE, La. - As Tropical Storm Bonnie enters the Gulf of Mexico, Cleco is closely monitoring the weather and following the potential path of this storm.
The latest forecast indicates the storm will make landfall in southeast Louisiana tomorrow evening. This will affect Cleco's eastern district, which includes St. Tammany and Washington parishes. Customers in these areas should be prepared for power outages.
"Though Cleco's eastern district may experience the most adverse weather conditions, others parts of the state may be affected as well. These storms can produce tornadoes and flooding, causing widespread damage," said James Lass, general manager of distribution engineering and emergency management. "At this point, it's not clear how damaging this storm will be; however, we are prepared to repair equipment and restore power as quickly and safely as possible after the storm passes. Employees are on alert and ready to respond."
Cleco has equipment and crews from all areas of the company ready to move south to help with power restoration, if necessary. Cleco can also call on other electric utilities to provide storm restoration assistance through mutual assistance agreements. Contractors are also available to assist.
"Safety is our top priority during any storm," said Anthony Bunting, vice president of customer service and energy delivery. "We caution everyone to avoid downed power lines and call Cleco if they see a dangerous situation involving electric equipment."
Cleco's Web site offers an outage tracking system, information to help customers prepare for and be safe during and after a storm and updates on any ongoing storm restoration. Visit www.cleco.com for more details.
"We are also prepared to address any oil-related issues that may affect power restoration," Bunting said. "Even though Bonnie is a tropical storm at this time, we are taking it very seriously because we are uncertain how it will develop."
The following are tips to remember before, during and after a storm. For more information, visit Cleco's Web site atwww.cleco.com.
Have plenty of batteries for flashlights and radios.
Plan for the needs of infants by stocking up on baby food, diapers and formula.
Unplug sensitive electric appliances like computers and televisions in the event of unpredictable voltage fluctuations. Turn off central air and heat units.
Never plug a generator directly into a wall outlet. This can cause backfeeding and potentially hurt or kill a worker attempting to repair a power line.
Stay away from downed lines. Assume all lines are energized and dangerous.
Call 1.800.622.6537 to report a power outage or dangerous situation.