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Cleco crews restore power to 82 percent of customers

Dec 18, 2019

Cleco crews restore power to 82 percent of customers
National Weather Service confirms damage across central Louisiana caused by tornado

PINEVILLE, La. – (4:30 p.m.) – Cleco crews continue to make progress with power restoration following a tornado that moved across central Louisiana Monday afternoon.

The U.S. National Weather Service in Lake Charles confirmed that an EF3 tornado went through central Louisiana on Monday with wind speeds between 140 and 160 mph.

“This helps explain why the damage to our electrical system in Rapides Parish was so extensive,” said James Lass, general manager of distribution operations and emergency management. “We’ve seen a lot of downed wire, trees on power lines, broken poles and transformers.”

Cleco has restored power to 7,739 of the roughly 9,500 customers who lost electricity after the tornado. As of 4:30 p.m., 1,761 Cleco customers were without power in Rapides Parish. Most of these customers are located off of Hwy. 28 West, one of the hardest hit areas, and require specialized off-road equipment to clear debris and make repairs.

"Although Cleco brought in additional personnel to assist with clean-up, repairs and restoration efforts, and our crews have been working day and night, some outages will last overnight,” said Lass. “We’re doing everything we can to restore power as quickly and safely as possible, and we hope to have the majority of our customers who can receive power restored this evening.”

After a storm, there are times when customers cannot receive power because of damage to the equipment required to deliver electricity. If there is any damage to a home or business that may pose a danger if power is restored, Cleco cannot energize the service until repairs are made by a licensed electrician.

For updates, follow Cleco on Facebook at @ClecoPower.