Cleco fares well so far in ice storm, watching southern parishes closely

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 2:27pm

As Winter Storm Leon moved through Cleco’ s service territory in north and central Louisiana, it brought sleet and snow but few power outages. Cleco now is closely monitoring the storm as it pushes through its south Louisiana territory.

“We are pleased with our system’s performance during this storm so far, but we are aware that the storm is not over,” said Anthony Bunting, vice president of transmission and distribution operations. “Our crews are on standby and are prepared to respond as needed as the storm continues to the southern portion of our territory.”

Leon left behind very hazardous road conditions in central Louisiana as sleet and snow covered roads, bridges and overpasses. The wintery mix did not significantly accumulate on tree limbs and electric wires.

“We experienced very few scattered outages from icy tree limbs that fell into our system and damaged our equipment,” said Bunting. “As the storm moves south, we can only hope that it has the same minimal impact on our electric system. That being said, road conditions are treacherous, making travel to the outages very slow. We are concerned about the public’s safety as well as our workers’ safety during travel.”

Cleco has approximately 650 workers positioned to assist with restoration efforts. Line mechanics and tree trimming crews traveled from Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas in advance of the storm.

Cleco warns of downed power lines and asks customers to be cautious. Power lines on the ground can be energized and present a safety hazard. Stay away and call Cleco at 1-800-622-6537 or 911 to report a dangerous situation. If customers use generators, Cleco recommends following the manufacturer’s guidelines for safety and never plug a generator into a home’s electrical outlet to ensure the safety of Cleco’s crews.

Due to weather and hazardous road conditions, Cleco will close all of its customer service offices on Wednesday, Jan. 29 with the exception of the Mansfield Customer Service Office.

Cleco now offers MyAccount, a quick and easy way for customers to keep their power at their fingertips. MyAccount allows customers to report outages, get restoration status updates and receive billing information through their mobile devices. Go to www.cleco.com to sign up for MyAccount and to review safety messages.

Cleco Corporation is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La. Cleco owns a regulated electric utility company, Cleco Power LLC, which owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 2,565 megawatts and serves approximately 283,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power across Louisiana and Mississippi. Cleco Power has received federal and state regulatory approval to acquire two gas-fired generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 775 megawatts from its unregulated affiliate, Cleco Midstream Resources LLC. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.
  

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