Ice storm brings extensive outages to central Louisiana
PINEVILLE, La. – Freezing rain is causing extensive outages in Cleco's service territory in central Louisiana. Trees and tree limbs incased in ice are falling, causing more than 27,500 outages statewide. The hardest hit areas are Rapides, Avoyelles and Grant parishes.
"We have more than 18,500 outages in Rapides, 7,000 in Avoyelles and 1,200 in Grant parishes, and customers continue to report outages as trees and tree limbs continue to fall into our system," said Anthony Bunting, vice president of transmission and distribution operations. "Our crews are assessing the damage, and we will give an estimated restoration time as soon as we can. We have the crews, materials and equipment ready to restore power to our customers."
Cleco reminds customers to be aware of power lines on the ground. These lines could be energized and dangerous. Cleco also recommends following manufacturer's instructions when using a generator. Never plug a generator into a home's outlet as power could flow through a home's metering system and onto a line, creating a hazardous situation for workers.
"The three past winter weather events did not produce a large amount of freezing rain like this storm," said Bunting. "With sleet, ice pellets bounce off of surfaces and do not stick to trees, but freezing rain coats and freezes on the trees weighing down limbs and causing them to break."
Customers can report outages by signing up for MyAccount at cleco.com. This service will provide text messages containing restoration updates and other billing information. The website also offers electrical safety information.