AEP SWEPCO preparing for possible widespread power outages - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

AEP SWEPCO preparing for possible widespread power outages

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SWEPCO is preparing for a winter storm including freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow in many parts of its three-state service territory, with the heaviest impact expected in Arkansas. Accumulations of 3/4 inch of ice are projected from DeQueen and Nashville to Mena to Greenwood, Ark.

That much ice could cause dangerous road conditions, and widespread power outages.

In a statement released late Thursday morning, SWEPCO's VO of distribution region operations in Shreveport said, "Winter storms can do extensive damage to our electrical system. The combination of ice build-up, snow, high winds and heavy rains can often lead to uprooted trees or broken limbs on power lines."

That's why SWEPCO says they have mobilized approximately 350 line, tree and support personnel – including company and contractors – to begin moving into Arkansas in anticipation of widespread outages. They are joining SWEPCO's normal Arkansas line and tree complement of about 200 company and contract line and tree personnel. Additional company or outside resources will be deployed as needed in any part of SWEPCO's service territory.

Customers can report outages online or on their mobile devices at www.SWEPCO.com, or call 1-888-218-3919.

Storm updates and outage information will be available on www.SWEPCO.com and www.Facebook.com/SWEPCO.

Customers are reminded to treat all downed lines as if they are carrying electricity. Stay away, and keep others away. Call SWEPCO immediately to report downed power lines.

Anyone using a portable or RV generator should not plug the generator into the home's main electrical panel. This can "back feed" electricity into outside utility lines, creating the danger of electrocution for repair crews and the public. Instead, plug essential lighting and appliances directly into the generator.

For additional outage safety tips, visit, www.SWEPCO.com.

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