SWEPCO sends linemen to California to assess/inspect lines in wildfire-affected areas

Pictured left to right: SWEPCO Linemen James Matlock, James Rowe, Cedric Thomas, Michael Rath, Mike Smith, Michael Butts and Grant Zich

Fifty-four line workers from Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, today arrived in Sacramento, California, to assist Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in addressing power outages associated with the state’s ongoing high winds and wildfire emergency.

Employees from across SWEPCO’s territory – including Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Arkansas, Northwest Louisiana, East Texas and West Texas – will receive their work assignments and locations this afternoon.

Due to ongoing high wind conditions, PG&E power lines have been de-energized to prevent them from causing or contributing to wildfires. Other power lines have been damaged by fire. SWEPCO linemen will inspect and assess the condition of PG&E facilities to help determine which are ready to be re-energized and which will require repairs.

“PG&E has a critical need for experienced line personnel to help them get a handle on the best and safest way to help address this emergency while their workers focus on outage recovery,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO Vice President for Distribution.

SWEPCO’s sister companies AEP Ohio, Indiana Michigan Power and Public Service of Oklahoma also sent employees. The total AEP employee count is 112.

There is no definitive timeframe for the AEP personnel to remain in California, but they were told before leaving to prepare for a stay of a week or more.

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