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.

Powering through summer storms: What you need to know

Summer storms are unpredictable and can happen in a flash.

When storms damage power lines, our crews work hard to get your power back on. Here’s what you need to know to help you stay safe, prepared and connected:

Assemble a kit. Get in front of storms by putting together an emergency preparedness kit that includes (at minimum) non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, batteries, a battery-powered radio, a first aid kit, any necessary medications, extra cash and maps of your area.

Plan ahead. Develop a disaster plan for you and your family. Decide now what you’ll do if there’s an extended power outage. Also, contact family, friends and neighbors who are elderly or have medical conditions.

Be informed. Check your local forecasts on a daily basis and, if you’re away from home, know your exact location so you can easily track weather reports in your area.

Stay connected. Download the SWEPCO mobile app to report outages and stay up-to-date on restoration efforts. For the latest restoration info, visit SWEPCO.com/Outages or follow SWEPCO on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay away, stay alive. Remember, all downed lines are dangerous — they carry an electric current that can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you encounter a fallen wire, keep yourself and others far away, and call 911 and SWEPCO immediately. Click here to learn what to do if power lines land on your car.

Storm Update: Dec. 27, 3 p.m.

Fallen trees and downed power lines blocking a road; hazards after a natural disaster wind storm
Never touch a downed line, or go near it, no matter how harmless it looks. The line could be energized. 

SWEPCO crews are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible to 3,300 customers who remain without power after severe storms with high winds and lightning struck the region Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Continue reading “Storm Update: Dec. 27, 3 p.m.”

SWEPCO crews heading to Georgia in preparation for Hurricane Michael

Ninety employees of Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an AEP company, are heading to Georgia in preparation for Hurricane Michael. Georgia Power asked for assistance from SWEPCO crews after the hurricane makes landfall.

Continue reading “SWEPCO crews heading to Georgia in preparation for Hurricane Michael”

“Not all heroes wear capes” (AEP Texas thank you editorial for Hurricane Harvey assistance)

Victoria TX crop 0203

SWEPCO crews from Arkansas ready for another day of hurricane restoration work near Victoria, Texas in early September. Continue reading ““Not all heroes wear capes” (AEP Texas thank you editorial for Hurricane Harvey assistance)”

SWEPCO provides recovery assistance in Florida

 

staging area
SWEPCO crews arrive in Florida and receive work assignments Thursday afternoon.

 

SWEPCO will help restore power after Hurricane Irma with 233 employees assisting Duke Energy Florida. Continue reading “SWEPCO provides recovery assistance in Florida”