The ice storm of 2021 is winding down. We now will begin the thaw. But Swepco crews are just now kicking into high gear to restore power to more than 21,000 customers in our region without power.

The power company has about 3,000 workers stationed around the region to work to restore power. These workers are set up in Texarkana and Longview and they are now moving to staging areas in Shreveport, Mansfield and Center, Texas. From there, they will fan out to get the power turned back on as quickly as possible.

The hard hit areas are in Natchitoches and Sabine parishes in Louisiana.
"We’ll begin assessing damage early Thursday morning and mobilizing our crews,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “This may go slowly because of the ice and snow on roads, but we will begin repairs as safely and quickly as possible.”

Crews will begin clearing hazards, like tree limbs on power lines as soon as it is safe to do so. These crews will also assess the damage. That's why you might spot a truck in your neighborhood and see it leave. These folks are checking the damage and then reporting this info back to the line workers and tree crews.

The top priority is to restore power to hospitals, police and fire stations and other essential public health and safety facilities.

Here are ways you can report and tracking outages:

· Log on to Swepco.com to report an outage and sign up for updates.
· Use the SWEPCO app, available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
· Call 1-888-218-3919 to report your outage.

Swepco also has this advice:

If you lose power, please turn off heating, water heating and large appliances to enable smoother service restoration. Once power is restored, switch the devices back on gradually over the following 30 to 45 minutes. Taking this step helps prevent a sudden surge in demand after power is restored, which could result in a second outage.

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Read More: Winter Safety Tips