SWEPCO's Michael Corbin talks about the power company's preparations and plans to keep the lights - and heat - on around the ArkLaTex as this weekend's winter storm approaches.

The first wave of winter weather, expected Sunday night into Monday morning, could drop as much as five to six inches of snow on the Shreveport - Bossier City area, a storm described by Weather Channer Meteorologist Richard Lewelling as "epic."

"We have our own team of meteorologists and we're making epic plans ourselves," says Corbin, referring to the Lewelling prediction. "Right now we have all of our SWEPCO crews ready to go. All of the contractors we normally work with, we've asked them to be on standby. As (the storm) gets a little closer we'll make a determination if we need to bring people in from other states. I don't have the exact number (of workers on standby) yet, but I would suspect that it's already at a thousand and it will go up if this plays out like we think.

What we're worried about is if we have ice. Ice is devastating to the electrical grid. If we just have snow, it won't be nearly as bad. But we plan for the worst and hope for the best in every situation."

And when it comes to the added demand on the grid, Corbin says, no problem. "We have plenty of power in our region and that's not an issue"


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