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Hills provide challenge to utility crews working to restore electricity in West Feliciana Parish

1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago Friday, April 12 2024 Apr 12, 2024 April 12, 2024 5:13 PM April 12, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

ST. FRANCISVILLE — The hilly terrain of West Feliciana Parish is posing challenges of its own as utility crews work to restore power following a tornado. 

After Wednesday's storm, about 26,000 homes and businesses in the area were without power. As of Friday, the number had fallen to 4,400 as line workers reconnected the power grid. All of DEMCO's customers in the parish were without power for a time.

“We have about 100 poles down, eight transmission poles down, and we're hoping by midnight to have the transmission rebuilt that will feed about 2,000 meters, so we'll be able to distribute the power," said Anne Hawes, a DEMCO spokeswoman.

The hills around St. Francisville required the use of special equipment and the need for workers to use extra care. About 200 crew members are working to restore transmission lines around two substations in the Elm Park and Tunica Hills areas.

"That's why we called in a lot of help," Hawes said. “We have a lot of great lineman here but getting more people here will get the system rebuilt more quickly so that our members have power more quickly." 

The National Weather Service this week confirmed that a tornado touched down north of St. Francisville. The twister knocked over 100-year-old oak trees, and the power lines near them. Crews from elsewhere in southeastern Louisiana and also from Arkansas came in to help.

"We have crews from other co-ops here, chain crews. We have construction crews. We have ride-away crews. So everyone is here," Hawes said. 

DEMCO urges affected members to exercise caution around downed power lines. For updates on outages and restoration progress, visit demco.org/storm-center

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