TOP LOCAL HEADLINES Archives for 2021-02

UPDATE: Jackson Street Opens After 'Possible Explosive Material'

The following has been released to Q93 from the Alexandria Police Department:

 

Alexandria, La. (February 28, 2021) – Alexandria Police have made an arrest in the incident that took place around 10:45 a.m. this morning in the 3400 block Jackson Street. 

 

Officers initially responded to a disturbance and, during the arrest, located suspicious materials inside the suspect’s vehicle. Detectives and the Crime Scene Unit along with Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Hazmat/Bomb Unit, Louisiana State Police and the F.B.I. all assisted.
 
Chris Osteen, 38, of Alexandria, is charged with simple assault, disturbing the peace, remaining on premises after being forbidden, and manufacturing or possession of a delayed incendiary device
 
This is an ongoing investigation. If anyone has any information about this incident, please contact the detective division at 318-449-5099.

BREAKING: Jackson Street Closed Off Due to 'Possible Explosive Material'

The following has been released to Q93 from the Alexandria Police Department: 

 

ALEXANDRIA, La. (February 28, 2021) - Alexandria Police are working an active scene in the 3400 block of Jackson Street where possible explosive material was located inside a vehicle. 

 

Jackson Street is closed off in both directions from MacArthur Drive to Texas Avenue. We are asking citizens to avoid the area until further notice.
 

Detectives and the Crime Scene Unit along with Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office Hazmat/Bomb Unit, Louisiana State Police, and the F.B.I. are on scene.

 

UPDATE: Jackson Street is now open again as of 2:30 p.m.

City of Alexandria Boil Advisory Lifted

The following was released to Q93 from the City of Alexandria:

 

ALEXANDRIA, La. (City of Alexandria) - The City-Wide boil advisory issued Wednesday, February 17, 2021, is now lifted.

 

Power has been restored to all COA wells and production facilities and system pressure has been restored to normal. The State of Louisiana has tested the water, and the results of the tests are clear, according to Utility Director Michael Marcotte.

 

The Alexandria Water Department has lifted the boil advisory for the properties located in the area described below:

 

All the properties served by the City of Alexandria Water System:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the lifting of the boil advisory, the City of Alexandria now recommends that businesses and residences in the affected areas:

  • Run cold-water faucets for one minute;
  • Run drinking water fountains for one minute;
  • Flush automatic icemakers (make three batches of ice and discard);
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle; and
  • Run water coolers with direct water connections for five minutes.

All Rapides Parish Public Schools Open on Monday, February 22nd

All Rapides Parish Public Schools will be open tomorrow (Monday, February 22nd). Bottled water will be provided for drinking at schools due to local boil advisories. Additionally, breakfast and lunch meals that do not require water preparation will be provided.

 

RPSB strongly encourages everyone to continue to conserve water until water pressures increase to optimum capacity. Increased water pressure is necessary to keep schools open.

Cleco: Power Restored to 93 Percent of Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:


 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 20, 2021 (8 p.m.) – As of 8 p.m. today, Cleco has restored power to approximately 40,000of the roughly 43,000 customers who lost power after a second winter storm hit the company’s service territory within the same week.  

Power Outages as of 8 p.m.

Allen Parish

39

Avoyelles Parish

598

Catahoula Parish

26

DeSoto Parish

42

Evangeline Parish

34

Grant Parish

289

Natchitoches Parish

53

Rapides Parish

2,314

Red River Parish

Less than 5

Sabine Parish

11

Vernon Parish

Less than 5

 

City of Alexandria Asks Residents to Continue Water Conservation Efforts

The following has been released to Q93 from

the City of Alexandria: 
 

 

Alexandria, La. (February 20, 2021) — City of Alexandria officials continue to ask all water customers to use as little water as possible until further notice as the city works to refill water tanks and restore water pressure.

 

“We are grateful to everyone who has stepped up by eliminating or reducing their water use. You are making a difference,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “The system is slowly starting to stabilize, but it is still extremely fragile. It’s critical that everyone continue to use as little water as possible. Any increase in usage could wipe out the progress we have made so far. I know it creates a hardship, but if we all keep working together we can get through this.”

 

Utility Director Michael Marcotte said the key to improving water pressure is refilling the four elevated water tanks that serve the city. “Getting those tanks filled is critical because that is where our water pressure comes from – it’s a gravity fed system – so we need to get the water levels back up in those tanks as quickly as possible.”

 

Hall said the city has not mandated the closure of any businesses at this time. “We are asking everyone to voluntarily limit their use of water. Now is not the time to go to a carwash or engage in any activity that uses a large amount of water,” Hall said. “Our hope is these actions will allow our water supply to recover. If not, additional steps may become necessary.”

 

Marcotte added business and property owners should continue to inspect pipes for leaks. “Temperatures warmed up enough today that any frozen pipes should have thawed, so it’s imperative that people thoroughly inspect their water systems for leaks and shut off water to any broken pipes,” Marcotte said.  “We still need people to treat a water leak like they would a crime – if they see it, they need to call us at 318-473-1264 so we can come turn it off,” he said.

 

The city-wide boil advisory issued Wednesday remains in effect. Residents are advised not to drink the water until they boil it, which includes bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. 

 

“It will be up to the Department of Health as to how long the boil advisory remains in place,” Marcotte said. “Once system pressure stabilizes we will start testing water quality. Those tests can take 24-48 hours if not longer. The boil advisory will remain in place until testing shows the water is safe for residents to drink.”

 

To assist residents during the boil advisory, the city distributed 900 cases of bottled water to residents Saturday afternoon. “We are grateful to GOHSEP (Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management) for the water we received today,” Hall said. “We placed an order for bottled water before the storm and this was the first shipment. We expect to get more and will distribute that to residents as soon as it arrives.”

Cleco: Power Restored to 76 Percent of Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco: 

 

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 19, 2021 (8 p.m.) – As of 8 p.m. today, Cleco has restored power to nearly 33,000 of the roughly 43,000 customers who lost power after a second winter storm hit the company’s service territory within the same week.  

Power Outages as of 8 p.m.

Allen Parish

176

Avoyelles Parish

2,406

Catahoula Parish

24

DeSoto Parish

49

Evangeline Parish

331

Grant Parish

759

Natchitoches Parish

84

Rapides Parish

5,716

Red River Parish

5

Sabine Parish

718

Vernon Parish

28

 

City of Alexandria Urges Minimal Use of Water to Help Rebuild Supply

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco: 
 

 

Alexandria, La. (February 19, 2021) — City of Alexandria officials are asking residents and area businesses to use as little water as possible until further notice as the city works to refill water tanks and restore water pressure.

 

“Power has been restored to all of our water wells, and we are generating three times the amount of water we normally generate daily, but it’s not enough to outpace demand like we need it to,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “We really need folks to eliminate their use of water until we can get the supply built back up. We need to do this not only to get water back in our homes, but to our hospitals and nursing facilities that have a critical need for water for patient care.” 

 

Utility Director Michael Marcotte said part of the problem is leaks from broken pipes. “We believe we have some businesses that have been closed all week during the storm that have leaks and broken pipes and they don’t realize it because they haven’t been in their office,” he said. “We’re asking business owners and rental property owners to please check their sites for leaks and broken pipes and get those shut off immediately.”

 

Marcotte added that if a resident sees a water leak at a business or even a neighbor’s house they should report it immediately. “We need people to treat a water leak like they would a crime – if they see it, they need to call us at 318-473-1264 so we can come turn it off,” he said.

 

Until demand is reduced, Hall said a timeline can’t be set for restoration of water pressure. “We have to get to the point where we get ahead of demand, and right now we’re not there,” Hall said. “That is why it is so critical that everyone – homes and businesses – do everything they can to reduce their use of water so that we can get the tanks refilled.”

 

Residents are reminded the city-wide boil advisory issued Wednesday remains in effect. As water service is restored, residents are advised not to drink the water until they boil it, which includes bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. 

 

“It will be up to the Department of Health as to how long the boil advisory remains in place,” Marcotte said. “Once the water pressure stabilizes we will start taking test samples and send them for testing to ensure water safety. Those tests can take 24-48 hoursif not longer. As was the case after Hurricane Laura, the boil advisory will remain in place until testing shows the water is safe for residents to drink.”

 

Road conditions throughout the city remain hazardous. Temperatures are expected to be below freezing again Friday night, which will allow for some refreezing overnight, so residents are asked to minimize travel.

 

Due to closure of the local transfer station and landfill through the weekend, household trash collection will resume normal schedule starting Monday. ATRANS bus service is also scheduled to resume normal operation Monday

City of Alexandria Working to Restore Water Service After Winter Storm Viola

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco: 
 

 

Alexandria, La. (February 18, 2021) — City of Alexandria crews completed restoration of power to customers affected by Winter Storm Viola on Thursday, and power was partially restored to the City’s water wells in Kisatchie National Forest to help improve water supply following back-to-back winter storms this week.

 

“Power outages in the city affected about 3,300 customers on Wednesday, and thanks to the hard work of our utility crews and our contractors, we completed restoration today,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “Stabilizing the water system is our main concern now. We are working with Cleco to get all power restored at our water wells in the Kisatchie National Forest. They have made some progress, and once they are complete, we can increase productionand begin the process of refilling our storage tanks which will allow system pressure to slowly recover to normal levels.”

 

Any city resident who is without power should call 318-473-1301 to report the outage.

 

Loss of electrical power to city wells in the Kisatchie National Forest on Wednesday, combined with increased water use from broken pipes and residents dripping faucets to prevent frozen pipes, caused a severe decrease in water pressure. While the city had 15 wells in full operation inside the city and generators in place in Kisatchie in anticipation of a possible power loss, water production was not able to keep up with demand.

 

Power was restored by Cleco to six of the 32 city wells in Kisatchie by mid-morning Thursday and a significant portion were expected to be re-energized Thursday night; approximately 6 wells will remain to be restored Friday.

 

“We need residents to continue to minimize their use of water until the system can catch up and we can get the water pressure back up,” said Utility Director Michael Marcotte. “If everyone does their best to conserve and not use water, we could be able to get pressure back up within 24-36 hours.”

 

One thing that could slow that timeline is discovering additional broken pipes as temperatures rise and pipes thaw. “Business owners that have been closed may go in Friday and find they have leaks, and residents may have pipes start leaking as we get above freezing,” Marcotte said. “If someone has a leak and they are not able to shut off the water, they can give us a call at 318-473-1264, and we can come shut off the water for them. It’s imperative that we shut down any leaks as quickly as possible so we can rebuild our water supply and pressure.”

 

A city-wide boil advisory was issued Wednesday when the system’s water pressure dropped below 20 psi. The normal range is around 50 psi. As water service is restored, residents are advised not to drink the water until they boil it, which includes bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. 

 

“It will be up to the Department of Health as to how long the boil advisory remains in place,” Marcotte said. “Once the water pressure stabilizes we will start taking test samples and send them for testing to ensure water safety. Those tests can take 24-48 hoursif not longer. As was the case after Hurricane Laura, the boil advisory will remain in place until testing shows the water is safe for residents to drink.”

 

Road conditions throughout the city remain hazardous. Temperatures are expected to be below freezing again Thursday night, which will allow for some refreezing overnight, so residents are asked to minimize travel.

 

City offices will remain closed Friday, including ATRANS bus service and household trash pickup.

Cleco: Power Restored to 22,000 Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco: 

 

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 18, 2021 (7 p.m.) – Cleco has restored power to 22,000 customers since the second winter storm moved across the company’s service territory yesterday.  As of 7 p.m., roughly 21,000 customers are without power.  At the height of the storm, approximately 43,000 customers were without power.  More estimated times for restoration will be communicated during tomorrow’s updates.  

Power Outages as of 7 p.m.

Allen Parish

448

Avoyelles Parish

5,772

Beauregard Parish

5

Catahoula Parish

24

DeSoto Parish

310

Evangeline Parish

1,210

Grant Parish

1,543

LaSalle Parish

11

Natchitoches Parish

343

Rapides Parish

9,558

Red River Parish

74

Sabine Parish

1,648

St. Mary Parish

11

St. Tammany Parish

Less than 5

Vernon Parish

34


How to report a power outage:
Online through MyAccount at cleco.com, Contact Us form on cleco.com or call 1-800-622-6537.

Power Restored to Nearly 18,000 Cleco Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 18, 2021 (3 p.m.) – Cleco has restored power to nearly 18,000 customers since the second winter storm moved across the company’s service territory yesterday.  As of 3 p.m., roughly 25,000customers are without power.  At the height of the storm, approximately 43,000 customers were without power.  

Restoration Assessment
Below are estimated times for restoration (ETR).  More ETRs will be communicated as they become available.  Please note that unexpected damage or inclement weather could impact restoration efforts and timelines.  
 

Rapides Parish

• Pineville 

o Crews are working to restore power on Mary Hill Road off Hwy. 165, Jefferson Hwy. and parts of Shreveport Hwy.  Restoration in these areas will be complete this afternoon.  From there, crews will move to the community behind Pineville Jr. High off of Edgewood Drive (Iris Park, Comanche Drive andHiawatha Trail).  From there, crews will move to the Donahue Ferry area. 

o Restoration efforts in Pineville will continue throughout the day and into tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 19 until all customers’ power is restored.  There are some customers who could be without power until Sunday, Feb. 21, but those will be small, scattered, outages.  

o Icy road conditions are making travel challenging for crews in central Louisiana.  Additionally, the damage is scattered and not concentrated in one area, so crews are having to travel a lot in between restoration efforts.  There are a lot of trees on power lines to clear and burnt wire to replace. 

• Woodworth

o Power will be restored to customers inside the city limits today.  This includes the Coulee Crossing subdivision.  There will be a small number of customers without power overnight.

• Glenmora & Forest Hill – Crews are working in these towns, but some customers will be without powerovernight.

 

Acadia Parish

• Power restored to all customers who can receive power. Customers without power should report an outage.

Allen Parish

• Kinder, Oberlin – Power restored to all customers who can receive power.  Customers without power should report an outage.

• Oakdale – Power restored to 60 percent of customers; remaining 40 percent will be without power overnight.

 

Avoyelles Parish

• Bunkie – Power restored to some customers.  There will be some customers without power overnight.  

• Marksville, Hessmer, Simmesport, Bordelonville, Moreauville – Damage assessment is still underway.

Evangeline Parish

• Ville Platte, Eunice, Mamou and Pine Prairie – Power restored to all customers.  Customers without power in these towns should report an outage.

• Chicot State Park will be out overnight.  There is significant tree damage in this area.

 

St. Landry Parish

• Power restored to all customers who can receive power.  Customers without power in Acadia Parish should report an outage.

 

Beauregard Parish

• Power will be restored to the majority of customers by tonight.


Calcasieu Parish

• Power restored to all customers who can receive powerit.  Customers without power should report an outage.

 

DeSoto Parish

• Power will be restored to the majority of customers by tonight.

 

Natchitoches Parish

• Power will be restored to the majority of customers by tonight.

• Port of Natchitoches – Power has been restored.

Red River Parish

• Coushatta – Power will be restored to the majority of customers by tonight.

 

Sabine Parish

• Many, Zwolle & Converse – Power will be restored to customers inside the city limits by tonight.

Vernon Parish

• Power will be restored to all customers by tonight.

Power Outages as of 3 p.m.

Allen Parish

452

Avoyelles Parish

6,551

Beauregard Parish

33

Catahoula Parish

24

DeSoto Parish

335

Evangeline Parish

1,299

Grant Parish

1,788

LaSalle Parish

11

Natchitoches Parish

382

Rapides Parish

11,051

Red River Parish

98

Sabine Parish

2,925

St. Mary Parish

11

St. Tammany Parish

15

Vernon Parish

34


How to report a power outage:
Online through MyAccount at cleco.com, Contact Us form on cleco.com or call 1-800-622-6537.

Cleco: Power Restored to 13,000 Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:


 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 18, 2021 (11 a.m.) – Cleco has restored power to approximately 13,000 customers since the second winter storm moved across the company’s service territory yesterday.  Initial damage assessments are uncovering significant system and equipment damage.  

“The damage in Rapides Parish is the most severe based on our initial damage assessments in central Louisiana,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “So far, we’ve found 32 trees on our lines just in Rapides Parish, and we expect to find more.  We’ve also found broken poles and cross arms.  This second storm was by far more severe than thedamage we saw after the first storm.” 

As of 11 a.m., roughly 30,000 customers are without power.  At the height of the storm, approximately 43,000 customers were without power.  

“While repairs are ongoing and restoration is underway, we do expect there will be power outages into the weekend for some customers,” said Lass.  

How to report a power outage:
Online through MyAccount at cleco.com, Contact Us form on cleco.com, direct message Cleco on Facebook at @ClecoPower or call 1-800-622-6537.

Power Outages as of 11 a.m.

Allen Parish

560

Avoyelles Parish

7,288

Beauregard Parish

74

Catahoula Parish

24

DeSoto Parish

427

Evangeline Parish

1,368

Grant Parish

1,586

Jefferson Davis Parish

5

LaSalle Parish

11

Natchitoches Parish

394

Rapides Parish

14,302

Red River Parish

619

Sabine Parish

3,189

St. Landry Parish

17

St. Mary Parish

13

St. Tammany Parish

27

Vernon Parish

34

 

City of Alexandria Boil Advisory Issued

The following has been released to Q93 from the City of Alexandria: 
 

Alexandria, La., (Feb. 17, 2021) — Due to electrical losses incurred during the recent winter storm, our Production capabilities have been severely affected and line pressure loss has resulted in the need for a boil water advisory, according to Utility Director Michael Marcotte.

 

Because our main line pressure has dropped below 20 PSI, the water citywide may have been compromised.  
 

As a precaution, the Alexandria Water Department is issuing a boil advisory effective immediately. This boil advisory is to remain in effect until otherwise noted.  The boil water advisory is issued for customers located in the area described below:

 

All the properties served by the City of Alexandria Water System.

 

It is recommended that all consumers in the advisory area disinfect their water before consuming it (including fountain drinks), making ice, brushing teeth or using it for food preparation or rinsing of foods by the following means:

 

Boil water for one full minute in a clean container. The one minute starts after the water has been brought to a rolling boil. Once the water has been boiled, you may improve the taste of the water by shaking it in a closed container, by pouring it from one clean container to another or by adding a small pinch of salt to each quart of water that is boiled.  

Consumers in the advisory area should disinfect their water prior to consumption until otherwise notified.  

 

The City of Alexandria will lift the boil advisory after water tests show there is no contamination. At that time businesses and residences in the affected areas should:

 

• Run cold water faucets for one minute; 
• Run drinking water fountains for one minute;
• Flush automatic icemakers (make three batches of ice and discard); 
• Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle; and
• Run water coolers with direct water connections for five minutes.

Cleco: Power Restored to Over 10,000 Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 17, 2021 (8 p.m.) – Cleco crews have restored power to over 10,000 customers impacted by the second winter storm to hit Cleco’s service territory this week.  At peak, the storm left approximately 43,000 Cleco customers without power.

 

“We made progress today despite the icy conditions and freezing temperatures, and we will make more headway tomorrow,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “While crews are still working, many customers will be without power overnight.”

Restoration Assessment


Below are estimated times for restoration (ETR) for parts of Cleco’s service territory.  More ETRs will be communicated as they become available.  Please note that unexpected damage or inclement weather could impact restoration efforts and timelines.  
 
Rapides Parish
• Power restored to approximately 6,500 customers today in the following areas:
o Holloway, North of Ball/Tioga, Bentley, Colfax and Pollock
• Power will be restored to 50 percent of customers in Deville, Kolin and Ruby by tomorrow evening, Thursday, Feb. 18.
• Crews will continue to put customers’ power back on beginning tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 18 with full power restoration expected for all by Friday, Feb. 19.
Evangeline Parish
• Power restored to some customers in Pine Prairie, Turkey Creek and parts of Chicot (Hwy. 106 & Hwy. 167).  Remaining customers will be without power overnight.
Avoyelles Parish
• Crews are still working in this area to restore power.  ETR is expected tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 18.
 
Acadia Parish
• Crowley – Power restored to all customers who can receive power.
• Basile – Power restored to all customers who can receive power.  


Evangeline Parish
• Ville Platte – Power restored to more than half of customers.  Approximately 300 will be without power overnight.
• Eunice – Power restored to more than half of customers.  Small number of customers will be without power overnight.
• Mamou – Power restored to more than half of customers.  Approximately 58 customers will be without power overnight.
 
St. Landry Parish
• Opelousas – Power restored to all customers who can receive power.
Red River Parish (revised from 4:30 p.m.)
Approximately 1,000 customers are expected to be without power overnight. 

Sabine Parish
Approximately 4,000 customers are expected to be without power overnight.

Natchitoches Parish
All customers expected to be without power overnight.

Calcasieu Parish
All customers expected to be without power overnight.

Vernon Parish
Power expected to be restored to majority of customers by tonight; approximately 50 customers will be without power overnight.
 
Beauregard Parish
Power expected to be restored to majority of customers by tonight; approximately 250 customers will be without power overnight.
 
Power Outages as of 8 p.m.
Acadia Parish
125
Allen Parish
2,480
Avoyelles Parish
7,852
Beauregard Parish
218
DeSoto Parish
307
Evangeline Parish
2,195
Grant Parish
894
Iberia Parish
Less than 5
Jefferson Davis Parish
38
LaSalle Parish
11
Natchitoches Parish
115
Rapides Parish
13,101
Red River Parish
1,064
Sabine Parish
3,782
St. Landry Parish
18
St. Martin Parish
5
St. Mary Parish
15
St. Tammany Parish
8
Vernon Parish
34

Cleco: Power Restored to 8,000 Customers

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 17, 2021 (4:30 p.m.) – Cleco crews have restored power to 8,000 customers impacted by the second winter storm to hit Cleco’s service territory this week.  At peak, the storm left approximately 43,000 Cleco customers without power.

 

“Crews are assessing damage and restoring power, but the accumulation of ice on roadways, trees and power lines is causing delays,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “The additional rain we received today plus the freezing temperatures make it difficult for our crews to travel, patrol the lines and make any necessary repairs.”

Crews will work into the night, as conditions are safe, but many customers will be without power overnight.  
 
Restoration Assessment
Below are estimated times for restoration (ETR) for parts of Cleco’s service territory.  More ETRs will be communicated as they become available.  Please note that unexpected damage or inclement weather could impact restoration efforts and timelines.  
 
Red River Parish
Approximately 700 to 800 customers are expected to be without power overnight.

Sabine Parish
Approximately 4,000 are expected to be without power overnight.

Natchitoches Parish
All customers expected to be without power overnight.

Calcasieu Parish
All customers expected to be without power overnight.

Vernon Parish
Power expected to be restored to majority of customers by tonight; approximately 50 customers will be without power overnight.
 
Beauregard Parish
Power expected to be restored to majority of customers by tonight; approximately 250 customers will be without power overnight.
 
Power Outages as of 4:30 p.m.
Acadia Parish
18
Allen Parish
2,458
Avoyelles Parish
4,418
Beauregard Parish
280
Calcasieu Parish
8
DeSoto Parish
476
Evangeline Parish
5,032
Grant Parish
1,133
LaSalle Parish
11
Natchitoches Parish
108
Rapides Parish
13,325
Red River
1,065
Sabine Parish
5,776
St. Landry Parish
828
St. Mary Parish
18
St. Tammany Parish
Less than 5
Vernon Parish
28

Cleco: Approximately 20,000 Customers Without Power

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 17, 2021 (1:30 p.m.) – Approximately 20,000 Cleco customers across Louisiana are without power due to freezing rain and ice that began this afternoon. 
 

“Several of the parishes we serve are currently experiencing freezing rain and ice from a second winter storm, and with temperatures expected to remain near or below freezing for most of the day, more power outages are likely,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “As conditions deteriorate, we are asking customers to avoid unnecessary travel, operate generators outside in well-ventilated areas and stay away from downed power lines.”  
 
In addition to Cleco personnel, the company has secured nearly 400 contractors to assist with power restoration efforts. “Our crews will work throughout the day to restore as long as it’s safe,” said Lass.  “The safety of our employees, contractors and customers is priority in everything we do.”
 
Reasons for power outages during ice and snow:
• Trees can become heavy and brittle due to the accumulation of ice and snow, breaking and falling onto our system.
• Power lines and other equipment can become damaged due to the weight of ice and snow on the system.
 
Safety tips:
• 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. 
Power Outages as of 1:30 p.m.
Allen Parish
2,201
Avoyelles Parish
2,187
Beauregard Parish
2,962
Calcasieu Parish
39
Catahoula Parish
8
DeSoto Parish
140
Evangeline Parish
3,410
Grant Parish
236
Iberia Parish
5
Natchitoches Parish
77
Rapides Parish
4,995
Sabine Parish
3,765
St. Mary Parish
16
Vernon Parish
114

RPSB School Buildings and Offices Will Remain Closed Thursday and Friday

All RPSB school buildings and offices will remain closed Thursday and Friday. Students are asked to engage in as much distance learning activities as possible. Monday, February 22 was scheduled to be a student holiday and teacher professional development day. Due to the closures this week, Monday the 22nd will be a regular school day.

LSUA Classes and Offices Moved to Remote Operations

Due to current weather conditions, all LSUA classes and operations will be remote Wednesday, February 17Thursday, February 18, and Friday, February 19.  The LSUA campus will remain closed.

 

Employees should plan to work remotely from the 17th-19th unless you are deemed essential workersPlease contact your supervisor to determine if you are considered essential, or if you have any questions or concerns.

 

All face-to-face classes scheduled from the 17th-19th will be taught remotelyStudents should check Moodle or contact their instructors immediately for further information. 100% Online classes will continue as scheduled.

 

The university will make an announcement on Friday, February 19 about the reopening of campus during the week of February 22

Cleco Power Forced to Begin Periodic Power Outages to Some Customers

The following has been released  to Q93 from Cleco:

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 16, 2021 – Cleco has been notified by the regional reliability coordinator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), that extremely cold temperatures are causing an increase in demand for power which is resulting in an overload of the power grid.  To help protect the stability of the power grid and prevent prolonged outages, Cleco has been instructed to reduce demand on the power grid by beginning power outages to customers in Eunice, Opelousas, Ville Platte, Mamou, Oakdale and Washington. 
 
“While our crews worked to prepare for this storm, a loss of generation combined with the peak load due to record-low temperatures have caused a strain on the power grid system. In an effort to prevent damage or lengthy power outages, Cleco was instructed by MISO to begin forced power outages,” said Marty Evans, manager of transmission operations.  “At this time, we have not been given an estimated restoration time from MISO, and rolling outages in these areas will continue until further notice.”  
Some actions customers with power can take to conserve energy include:
• Delay laundry, washing dishes, and other non-essential uses of electricity for conservation.
• Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
• Don’t allow warmed air to escape from the home.
• Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
• Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees or lower if possible.
 
“If customers decide to use a portable generator, use it safely and do not run it in an enclosed space,” said Evans.

Rapides Parish Schools and Offices Closed Wednesday, February 17th

The following has been released to Q93 from the Rapides Parish School Board:
 

Good Wintry Afternoon!

 

While this weather brings some beautiful sites to see, it is not giving us a lot of hope for safely traveling our streets. 

 

In anticipation of the forecasted precipitation and continued freezing temperatures Rapides Parish Public School buildings and offices will be closed Wednesday, February 17th. Students should engage in as much distance learning activities as possible during this time.

 

Additionally, the RPSB Committee Meetings that are scheduled for this Wednesday will be postponed until next Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:00 PM.

 

We will continue to monitor the weather and road conditions before making final decisions about Thursday and Friday. 

 

Thanks for helping our emergency responders by staying off roads as much as possible. Rapides Parish truly is Better Together.

 

Power Restored to Over 7,700 Cleco Customers Following Winter Storm

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 15, 2021 (4 p.m.) – As of 4 p.m., Cleco Power has restored power to over 7,700 customers who lost electricity due to the winter storm.  At the height of the storm, 11,110 customers were without power. 
 

“Damage assessment and restoration efforts in some areas are being hindered by deteriorating road conditions and road closures which are delaying the arrival of some out-of-state contractor crews,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “While crews will continue to work into the night, some customers will be without power overnight.”
 
Power Outages as of 4 p.m.
DeSoto – Less than 5 customers
Iberia – 2,309 customers
Rapides – 10 customers
Sabine – 7 customers
St. Landry – 11 customers
St. Martin – 16 customers
St. Mary – 657 customers
St. Tammany – 22 customers
Washington – 339 customers

Approximately 10,000 Cleco Customers Without Power As Winter Storm Moved Across Louisiana

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 15, 2021 (11 a.m.) – As of 11 a.m., approximately 10,000 Cleco customers are without power due to freezing rain, ice and snow.

 

“While the majority of these outages are currently in Iberia and St. Mary parishes, the storm is still moving across the state, and we expect to see additional outages across our service territory,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  
 
Power Outages as of 11 a.m.
Beauregard – 26 customers
Evangeline – Less than 5 customers
Iberia – 6,430 customers
Rapides – 191 customers
Sabine – 9 customers
St. Landry – 6 customers
St. Martin – 456 customers
St. Mary – 2,360 customers
St. Tammany – 185 customers
Washington – 467 customers

 

In addition to Cleco personnel, the company has secured nearly 500 additional resources to assist with storm clean-up and power restoration.  

City of Alexandria Preparing for Anticipated Winter Weather

The following has been released to Q93 from the City of Alexandria:

 

 

Alexandria, La. (February 12, 2021) — Current forecasts from the National Weather Service indicate a potential for a wintery mix of weather, including freezing rain and/or sleet, in the Alexandria area starting Sunday and continuing Monday. The city encourages residents to make preparations now in the event local roads or bridges become impassable due to ice. 

 

“The safety of our citizens is our primary concern,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “At this point we aren’t certain how much impact we will get locally, but we should be prepared for the possibility of an ice storm Sunday and Monday. This is the time to prepare. We encourage residents to monitor weather conditions and to avoid travelling if roads are slick or icy.”

 

Hall noted Public Works employees are prepared to sand roads and bridges if necessary. Utility Systems Director Michael Marcotte said electric distribution crews are on standby to deal with any power outages. “We are actively monitoring the weather forecast and will have crews ready and prepared to respond as needed,” Marcotte said.

 

Water pipes are of particular concern with sub-freezing temperatures. Marcotte said residents should take steps now to protect pipes. Residents should also know the location of their water cutoff valve outside the house in the event a pipe bursts.

 

With the extremely cold temperatures, Alexandria Fire Chief Larry King reminds residents to use care with space heaters or when building a fire in the fireplace. Space heaters should be placed a safe distance from curtains and other flammable materials and fireplaces should be monitored

 

ATRANS has announced plans for delayed starts Saturday and Monday in anticipation of hazardous road conditions. Service will begin as soon as roadways are deemed safe for bus travel. The Sanitation Department also expects a delayed start to regularly-scheduled household trash pickup Monday morning. All other city services are currently expected to operate as regularly scheduled. Officials will be monitoring weather conditions throughout the weekend and any adjustments will be announced to the public.

 

Customers are reminded that when storms occur resulting in power outages they may report the outage online through the AlexConnects app. Downed wires, poles, and other equipment should be reported to the Electric Distribution Department at (318) 473-1301. Residents are reminded to avoid downed lines as they may still be energized and avoid driving on slick or icy roadways. Also, residents should stay indoors and off the roads if possible during any storm and exercise extreme caution while driving after a storm as crews and equipment may be clearing debris and making repairs along roads throughout the city.  

 

Cleco Prepared for Potential Winter Storm

The following has been released to Q93 from Cleco:

 

 

PINEVILLE, La. – Feb. 11, 2021 – Louisiana could be among the large number of states impacted by snow, ice and low temperatures beginning tomorrow and continuing through next week, according to weather forecasts.

“Most of the forecasts indicate conditions are favorable for a winter storm, but the timing and track of the storm are uncertain,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “While changes to the forecast are possible, Cleco is ready to respond, and we want our customers to be prepared too.” 

During winter storms, the accumulation of ice or snow can cause trees to become heavy, break and fall onto power lines causing power outages.


“Our Cleco crews and contractors across the state are on standby in the event this storm impacts our service territory and leads to power outages,” said Lass.  “We alsohave secured additional crews in the northern part of our service territory where the chance for inclement weather is more likely.”  

 

Below are winter storm preparation tips:

 

• Gather supplies you might need during a power outage, including flashlight, batteries, canned food, manual can opener, bottled water, medication and a first aid kit.

 

• Charge cell phones, tablets and laptops.

 

• Make sure it’s safe to travel.  Elevated freeways and bridges are prone to dangerous ice build-up when they get wet during cold temperatures.

 

• 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.

 

For additional storm preparation and safety tips, visit www.cleco.com.

 

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