Winter weather causes outages, closures

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 10:42am

Ark-La-Tex residents may still be feeling the effects of the winter storm that hit the area on Sunday.  Freezing rain, sleet and snow fell all over the Ark-La-Tex leaving a mess for crews working to reopen streets and get power back to as many as 6,500 SWEPCO customers.

SWEPCO told us that they prepared 900 workers to come to the area in anticipation of the storm, but only about 150 crews were needed.  They began working on cutting tree limbs and fixing power outages during the storm on Sunday into Monday.

The preparation helped since only about 200 customers were still without power early Monday, but SWEPCO spokesman Scott McCloud told us that customers would be able to sleep comfortably Monday night since they would have all customers back with power on Monday.  SWEPCO representatives told us that customers in the Ark-La-Tex may see outage numbers fluctuate throughout the week. 

As temperatures stay below the freezing mark, residents should prepare for the next possible danger: frozen pipes.  James Roach with Roach Plumbing Co. in Shreveport told us that they get between 25 to 30 calls each day for freezing pipes during the winter season.

Roach explained to us what exactly makes pipes freeze.  "If the wind's cold, it's blowing and it's cold, then it doesn't have to rain, and it doesn't have to snow.  It will freeze just by the chill factor of the wind."  Roach suggests that you make sure your pipes are properly protected from the wind chill ahead of time.

He said that if pipes are protected correctly, then problems should not arise.  "Some people drip their faucets, but most of the time insulating your lines is the best proper way to do it."

But if you happen to notice a water leak because of freezing pipes at your home, Roach says you should act quickly.  "They need to shut the water off at the street or at a valve at their house if they have one in the ground."  Roach added that you should immediately call a plumber in order to avoid any more flooding of your home or surrounding area.
 

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