(KSLA) - According to SWEPCO's outage map, there are thousands of outages across Northwest Louisiana Monday morning.
As of 1 p.m. there were more than 300 customers without power in Caddo Parish. In Bossier Parish, there are more than 550 outages. In Sabine Parish, there are more than 310 outages. There are also hundreds of outages in Natchitoches and Webster parishes.
In all likelihood, you have no electricity as you read this.
So first things first.
Before your mobile device's battery, your computer's backup power supply or your generator fails, here's ...
How to report an outage
Use one of the following methods:
» Fill out this online form. AEP-SWEPCO will ask you a few questions about your situation.
» Call* AEP-SWEPCO toll-free at (888) 218-3919 and press 3 when prompted or call (888) 216-3523 and press 1 and then press 3. Again, you'll be asked a few questions particular to your outage.
* (AEP-SWEPCO asks that you do not call these numbers to report an outage after a major storm. The utility says that it likely is aware of major outage-causing damage to its system and that its telephone lines can become overloaded with customer calls in such situations. After a major storm, AEP-SWEPCO says, use these numbers only to report a safety hazard such as a downed power line or equipment that is sparking.)
» Send an email using this form.
The next step
Once your outage is reported, 2 questions likely come to mind:
1) Why did the lights go out?
It could be because of any number of reasons - a vehicle wreck, a fallen tree or an animal on the power line or in a substation. And then there's weather-related issues such as lightning, strong winds or ice that can damage or topple power lines and utility poles. In some cases, the cause of your outage might not be immediately clear.
2) More importantly, when will the lights come back on?
The answer to this question depends, in part, on why the power is out and the extent of damage. There could be damage to the utility itself or your line, the latter of which would require more work on your end and likely would mean more time without electricity.
Here's how to:
Check on the status of outages
You can keep abreast of efforts to restore service to your area by:
- Monitoring AEP-SWEPCO posts and user comments on this Facebook page,
- signing up for text message and email alerts from the utility. These alert you to important information, including notices of a power outage at your address, of estimates when service will be restored and of when power is restored, and by
- tuning in to local media on your battery-powered device.