Cleco says they're ready for the storm, and expect outages because of Hurricane Delta - but also because of trees and limbs already weakened by Hurricane Laura.
Hurricane Delta remains on track to make landfall between Lake Charles and Lafayette today with winds of 100 mph, according to the latest weather forecast.
“Conditions are expected to begin deteriorating this afternoon and continue throughout the day,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “After landfall, Delta is expected to weaken as it moves across Louisiana into Mississippi. As the storm moves through parts of our service territory, customers should be prepared for heavy rainfall, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and power outages.”
For Cleco, one of the leading causes of power outages is tree contact with its power lines.
“Weakened trees from Hurricane Laura that didn’t fall during that storm could be more susceptible to wind now,” said Lass. “Additionally, ahead of Delta’s landfall, areas within our service territory already have received significant rainfall which will make it easier for trees to be uprooted due to the saturated ground.”
Cleco has secured nearly 1,900 contractors, including distribution line mechanics, vegetation specialists, damage assessors and transmission resources to help with system repairs and power restoration after the storm passes. The company also has set up five staging areas across the state to store supplies, such as fuel, as well as to feed, and provide lodging and laundry services for the contractors.
Customers are encouraged to:
· Have flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.
· Make a list of important phone numbers.
· Make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged.
· Plan for medical or special needs.
· Report power outages by calling 1-800-622-6537 or online through MyAccount at cleco.com.
· Operate portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas and plug appliances directly into generators with grounded extension cords. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.
· Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911.
· If water is rising, turn off electricity at the main breaker, evacuate and stay away until waters have completely receded.
Customers can find the latest storm updates on cleco.com and Cleco’s Facebook page @ClecoPower.