Hurricane Laura Update
BECi Continues to Restore Power While Monitoring Tropical Storm Beta
After restoring over 80% of membership, the co-op prepares for Beta to make landfall
DeRidder — Three weeks after Hurricane Laura’s Category Four winds wreaked havoc on Beauregard Electric Cooperative’s distribution infrastructure, the co-op is once again batting down the hatches as Tropical Storm Beta inches closer.
The co-op has restored power to 34,000 of its 43,000 meters. Last week, only 15% of the co-op members in the hardest hit area of Calcasieu Parish were able to receive power. Today, 50% of meters in Gillis, Moss Bluff, Lake Charles, Sulphur and Westlake have been restored.
As BECi makes headway in power restoration, it continues to monitor the threat that Tropical Storm Beta poses to an already storm-weary community. According to the US National Weather Service, Beta is forecasting to bring heavy rains, winds, scattered thunderstorms and some flooding in parts of the service area.
“No one wants this tropical storm that’s heading our way. Our members don’t want it and our linemen who have been working all this time do not want it,” said General Manager Kevin Turner. “But this is what we do and we’re ready for it.”
BECi’s number one priority is the safety of its employees and line workers. While linemen frequently work in various weather conditions, it is standard safety policy that crews refrain from any aerial or restoration work if there is lightning present or if winds reach 40 mph. Once conditions improve and it is deemed safe to do so, restoration work will continue.
Twelve hundred additional line workers have stepped in to aid BECi in its restoration process – many traveling from Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Texas. The workers are being housed large staging complexes in Beauregard and Calcasieu Parishes. As Beta continues to move inland, BECi has secured plans to temporarily relocate linemen should weather conditions deteriorate and pose a safety threat.
“Tropical Storm Beta may slow down our total restoration process, but we’re not going to stop working until everyone is back up and running,” said Turner. “We know how important electricity is to restoring normalcy to our members’ lives and rebuilding our communities.”
As of September 22, 10:00 AM, below are the current outage totals.
Allen Parish: 4,799 meters restored out of 5,509 meters - 88% restored
Beauregard Parish: 13,127 meters restored out of 14,943 meters - 88% restored
Calcasieu Parish: 6,414 meters restored out of 12,402 meters - 52% restored
Evangeline Parish: 100% restored
Jeff Davis Parish: 184 meters restored out of 336 - 55% restored
Rapides Parish: 1,462 meters restored out of 1,487 meters - 99% restored
Vernon Parish: 8,043 meters restored out of 8,172 meters - 99% restored
TOTAL: 34,079 meters restored out of 42,899 meters - 80% restored
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