LAFAYETTE, La. — SLEMCO says their system has sustained catastrophic damage from Hurricane Delta.
"We currently have over 98% of our system without power," the power company says.
Crews began work at 1 am this morning but fallen trees and debris are making passage very difficult and slow at this point. But they are making progress.
SLEMCO says the first feeder was restored at 5:03 am.
On KATC, Mary Laurent with SLEMCO says that 98,000 customers without power right now in the service area.
Crews will be focusing on getting feeders up and surveying damage which will take a few days. They will be getting the biggest group of people back on as quickly as possible and will work on smaller sections.
"This is not going to be a one or two day process," Mary Laurent with SLEMCO said. "This was a devastating hit."
When it comes to downed power lines, SLEMCO asks that residents treat power lines as if they are energized. Crews may be working on areas and could energize lines that may be down. Laurent asks that for now, customers leave downed lines or areas near downed lines alone.
It is best to check for any lines before doing any work.
Laurent also made note of generator use. She asks that customers do not use a generator inside a home or closed garage. Do not wire generators through your home's breaker panel. Unless the generator was professionally installed, if the line is being back-fed, SLEMCO says that as crews are working, electrocution can be a result of that wiring set up.
Work is continuing working on their SmartHub and Outage Management Systems. Outages can be reported by calling 1-888-275-3626.
"Getting through will be challenging with so many customers trying to get through. Repairing those systems, along with restoring power to our feeders will be our primary focus today," SLEMCO says. "We pray that our members have not suffered devastating damage to their homes and businesses. Many of you likely have. We will get through this together. From the damage we’ve seen out there so far, it will be a slow process."
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