3:45 p.m. update:
Power should be restored to most East Texans by 10 p.m. today, AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. said. As of 3 p.m., about 12,500 customers across its service area remained without power. That included about 9,800 in Louisiana and 2,700 in Texas.
The utility issued the following schedule by which 95 percent of customers in each city can expect to have power restored:
• Carthage – 10 p.m. today
• Henderson – 9 p.m. today
• Kilgore – 9 p.m. today
• Longview – 10 p.m. today
• Marshall – 10 p.m. today
• Mineola – 10 p.m. today
Customers in Louisiana will be without power a bit longer, it said. Here's the schedule for cities there:
• Shreveport – 10 p.m. Sunday
• Bossier City – 10 p.m. Sunday
• Benton – 10 p.m. Sunday
• Haughton – 10 p.m. Sunday
• Hornbeck – 8 p.m. today
• Mansfield – 6 p.m. today
• Natchitoches – 10 p.m. today
• Vivian – 10 p.m. Sunday
At the outage's peak, about 29,300 SWEPCO customers in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas were without power after strong storms broke utility poles, downed lines and felled trees.
At 4 p.m., SWEPCO was reporting 1,687 customers in Gregg County remained without power. In Harrison County, 73 were without power, while Rusk County had 64 outages.
Across the border in Louisiana, 2,730 customers in Bossier Parish were waiting for power to be restored.
SWEPCO said all outages in Arkansas should be cleared by 4 p.m.
On Thursday, the utility said it was gearing up for expected outages by bringing 150 utility workers to the region from Fort Worth, Abilene and Austin to assist with power restoration.
At 12:15 p.m. Saturday, 3,414 Texas customers of AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. remained without power. That was down from about 8,300 outages at 1 a.m.
Across SWEPCO's three-state service region, more than 29,000 customers were without power at the peak of the outages after storms ripped across the area late Friday and early today. One death was reported Friday in Texas, and at least three more deaths have since been reported in Louisiana.
By outage totals, Gregg County remained hardest hit in Texas early this afternoon, with 2,431. Shelby County has 339, Rusk County has 195, Harrison County has 176, Titus County has 131, Panola County has 29 and Upshur County 21.
SWEPCO's Louisiana service area had 3,850 customers out of power. Most of those, 3,345, were in Bossier Parish. Another 414 were in Webster Parish.
At 9:30 a.m., SWEPCO released this update on the outages across the region:
SWEPCO crews are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible to the 22,000 customers in the Ark-La-Tex who remain without power after overnight storms broke utility poles, downed wires, and toppled trees.
At the peak, about 29,300 customers were without power. Extensive damage has been reported in Benton and Haughton, Louisiana, and Kilgore and Longview, Texas.
Never touch a downed line, or go near it, no matter how harmless it looks. The line could be energized. Don’t touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences, or puddles of water. Stay away and keep others away, especially children and pets. Call SWEPCO immediately at 1-888-218-3919.
SWEPCO will share estimated times of restoration as soon as they are available.
An additional 150 field personnel are helping SWEPCO employees restore power. Fifteen line mechanics from SWEPCO’s sister utility Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) have been called in to assist with power restoration.
The wind gusted up to 60 miles per hour (MPH) in Caddo, Lousiana, according to the National Weather Service. The NWA reported the following peak wind gusts:
- Bossier City, LA, 59 MPH
- Shreveport, LA, 54 MPH
- Mansfield, LA, 46 MPH
- Longview, TX, 48 MPH
- Texarkana, AR, 41 MPH
- DeQueen, AR, 47 MPH
1 a.m. Saturday:
About 8,300 Texas customers of AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. were without power at 1 a.m.
Nearly 6,300 of those were in Gregg County.
Another 575 were in Bowie County, 260 in Rusk County, 200 in Camp County, 170 in Harrison County and 160 in Upshur County.