SWEPCO prepares for Hurricane Ike recovery

SHREVEPORT, La., September 12, 2008 – SWEPCO is preparing for electric power restoration efforts this weekend in the wake of Hurricane Ike landfall early Saturday morning near Galveston. Hotels are being booked for additional line crew personnel, logistics such as fleet vehicle fuel stops and feeding arrangements are being made, and construction contractors and tree trimming crews are being held for emergency use in the SWEPCO service area. About 50 SWEPCO employees are still working Gustav repairs near Baton Rouge. 

“SWEPCO and AEP emergency restoration planners are preparing for Ike impact, both internally and in coordination with other utilities, to gather resources and prepare for the restoration of potential electrical system damage,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer in Shreveport. “Staging areas, with food, water, housing, materials and supplies for over 800 workers (linemen and tree contractors) are being prepared.”

“Driving rain and high winds for several hours prevent our utility linemen from working safely on power lines and customer patience is appreciated until wind speed subsides below 40 mph for our employees to work as quickly and safely as possible,” said Chodak. SWEPCO customers may go to the company’s website at www.swepco.com for outage preparation and safety tips.

SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power, delivers electricity to 471,000 homes, businesses and industries in east and north Texas, Northwest La. and western Arkansas.

Scott McCloud (318-673-3532)
Kacee Kirschvink (318-673-3394)
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