More than 47,000 AEP SWEPCO customers in northwest Louisiana and east Texas were without power following the February 11th, 2014, winter storm.

But company spokesman Scott McCloud says that number was greatly reduced by mid-morning. He says the hardest-hit areas were the ones that are heavily-forested.

"I've heard a lot of comments about Broadmoor, Highland areas, Pines Road areas, any place you have the tall pine trees that can freeze and crack and then fall through your secondary and your transformer lines," McCloud says. "That is really doing the damage for us."

McCloud tells KEEL News the main problem has been ice build-up. "Any time you have several hours of slow freezing rain, that's going to do the most damage to the utility company," he says. "Snow floats and sleet bounces. With freezing rain, it just builds up on lines."

Strong wind has been a bit of a problem, as well. "Any time you have wind, of course, that can also shake limbs, cause them to fall, breaking power lines," McCloud says. "So wind can be an issue. But freezing rain can do the most damage to any utility company during the winter months."

About 200 linemen and 300 tree crews have been brought in from places like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Ark-La-Tex to work on getting everyone's power restored as quickly as possible. So far, no timeline on when the work will be complete, but you can get updates on SWEPCO's Facebook page.


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