Despite an initial set back from additional severe weather, crews continued to make steady progress in the ongoing effort to rebuild SWEPCO’s energy delivery system following extreme weather that began on Friday. Beginning late Saturday, both line crews and tree crews were arriving from a variety of locations and have now mobilized across our hardest hit districts.
On Sunday, those crews, which include resources from AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power, Indiana & Michigan Power, and Kentucky Power as well as other mutual assistance partners from across the United States, are arriving and providing support.
Through mutual assistance, additional crews were called upon to aid in the effort to help. As a result, nearly 3,000 utility professionals have now joined forces to tackle the work and rebuild communities across northwest Louisiana, east Texas and the western communities in Arkansas following the continued onslaught of extreme weather.
When you have devastation at this scale, with widespread damage that includes significant impacts to both our transmission and distribution stations, the prolonged effort requires time to mobilize additional resources so that all communities are fully assessed, and the work can proceed in an efficient and safe manner. The work is underway, and many customers could receive individual mobile alerts as early as today for updated or revised estimated times for restoration.
Since Friday, work continued to complete damage assessments including aerial and ground assessments of nearly 700 miles of transmission lines. Approximately 60 Transmission and Distribution stations were impacted, and 50 transmission lines were forced out of service due to tree and structure damage caused by the extreme weather. Damage to transmission lines can result in significant outages. Already, teams have worked to restore 25 transmission lines and continue prioritizing stabilizing the system. Teams are putting additional efforts on repairs to transmission lines impacting customer stations. SWEPCO’s utility poles and distribution wires serving individual homes and businesses also experienced extensive damage. Crews continue to assess and have reported nearly 300 utility poles taken out of service and more than 114 transformers are scheduled to be replaced.
You can learn more about the historic restoration efforts, find details about the widespread damage and SWEPCO’s recovery and restoration timelines on SWEPCO.com.
At peak, close to a quarter of a million SWEPCO customers lost power after the hurricane-force winds caused significant damage to the power delivery system across SWEPCO’s service area. As of 7:45 p.m. Sunday, approximately 90,000 customers have had power restored; an estimated 160,000 SWEPCO customers remain without power.
Potential remains for additional storms during the next several days and could disrupt service to more customers or impact restoration timelines. Work continues, weather permitting, to rebuild SWEPCO’s energy delivery system with continued focus on repairs to SWEPCO’s transmission system.