News

April 15, 2020 (1 p.m. Wednesday) - SWEPCO One Voice #6 = Easter Sunday Storms

At 1 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 4,600 customers in East Texas remain without power after three waves of severe storms swept across SWEPCO’s three-state service territory on Easter Sunday. At the peak, 64,000 customers were without power.

Additional crews have joined the SWEPCO, AEP and contract crews already working in the restoration effort. Workers are practicing social distancing and other measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of coronavirus, making the recovery effort especially challenging.

Damage from high winds and lightning is widespread, requiring significant repair work in many locations across East Texas. Damage includes broken poles, wires down, and trees down from outside the rights-of-way, which caused outages and make access difficult to some locations.

The first line of storms left 22,000 customers without power Sunday morning, mostly in Texas and Louisiana. Power had been restored to 14,000 customers by the afternoon. However, more storms struck Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas during the late afternoon and evening, pushing the total number of customers without power to 64,000 by 9 p.m. Sunday.

Here are the estimated times of restoration for 95% of customers in each area, including surrounding communities. NOTE: Your power may be restored sooner.

East Texas

  • Gilmer – 10 p.m. Wednesday
  • Gladewater – 10 p.m. Wednesday
  • Longview – 12 noon Thursday

Work also continues to restore service to all customers remaining without power in communities not listed above.

OUTAGE INFO:

SWEPCO Mobile App – Report outages, check outage status, and more. Download at App store or Google Play.

SWEPCO Alerts – Get an email or text message with the latest info for your home or business. See SWEPCO.com/Alerts.

SWEPCO.com – outage map, report outages, safety information

SAFETY:

KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE: Help utility crews stay safe and healthy while working to restore your power. Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and SWEPCO field personnel as we all play a crucial role in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

DOWNED POWER LINES: Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don't touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call SWEPCO to report any downed lines or equipment.

PORTABLE GENERATORS: If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators "backfeed" electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

CUSTOMER INFORMATION

SERVICE ENTRANCE DAMAGE? SWEPCO cannot connect power to a home or business if there is damage to the service entrance. Customers need to have a qualified electrician repair this damage before power can be restored. The service entrance, which is owned by the customer, includes the metal box housing SWEPCO’s meter, the “weatherhead” pipe on top of the meter box, the service entrance cables running from the weatherhead through the meter box to the inside panel box, and other related facilities. Similar responsibilities apply to underground service. After repairs are made, contact SWEPCO to have power restored.

Updated at 10:06am

April 15, 2020 - In an attempt to organize the changes happening due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Shelby County Today will keep all notices, closures, and cancellations organized on this page.

Below is a list of all announcements received. Underlined items are linked to their original announcement.

Food Boxes:

Filing for Unemployment/Job Seekers:


Cities, County, Government:


Doctors, Hospitals:


School Updates:

UIL Announces Extended Suspension of All UIL Activities - At this time, the earliest games and contests may resume is Monday, May 4th.


    Church Notices:


    ​Restaurant Notices:


    Business, Non-Profit, Organization Notices:


    Informational Links:


    Cancelled Events or Meetings:​​


    Still Happening:​​

    April 15, 2020 - Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison reported 44 cases of COVID-19 at the beginning of the Commissioners' Court meeting which is currently underway.

    Shelby County Office of Emergency Management was notified Monday afternoon by Texas Dept. of State Health Services (DSHS) of 10 more positive confirmed case of COVID-19 bringing the total case count for Shelby County to 44.

    Judge Harbison said, "I realize that the count that I report may not be the same as the one on the DSHS website but we are documenting all the cases as we are notified. I apologize for the confusion but we have requested DSHS send their list so we could make sure we have the most updated information. We cannot report information that we do not have."

    DSHS reports that the majority of these cases are community spread and not travel related.

    According to DSHS reporting, 9 of these 44 cases are hospitalized. DSHS did not have any information on whether any of the 10 new cases were hospitalized.

    April 14, 2020 - The Center Fire Department responded to a house fire early Friday, April 10, 2020.

    According to the Center Fire Department, when fire personnel arrived just after 5:45am at 813 Price Street in Center the front porch and front portion of the structure were partially on fire.

    Fire personnel were able to extinguish the flames and prevent further spread throughout the building.

    Although the residence was abandoned, it was determined someone had been trying to cook on the porch when the fire started.

    April 13, 2020 - At 10:30 a.m. Monday, approximately 45,300 customers remain without power after three waves of severe storms with high winds and lightning swept across SWEPCO’s service territory on Easter Sunday.

    The outages include 31,200 in Texas, 12,300 in Louisiana and 1,800 in Arkansas.

    The first line of storms left 22,000 customers without power Sunday morning, mostly in Texas and Louisiana. Power had been restored to 14,000 customers by the afternoon. However, more storms struck Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas during the late afternoon and evening, leaving a total of 64,000 customers without power by 9 p.m. Sunday.

    The storms heavily damaged SWEPCO’s electric system with multiple broken poles and wires down. For example, in several locations, more than 10 poles were down on a single circuit.

    Crews continue to assess damage and restore power as safely and quickly as power. Crews from SWEPCO’s sister companies – AEP Texas and Public Service Company of Oklahoma – are joining the restoration effort, along with outside contract crews. Estimated times of restoration will be provided as assessment progresses. Overall storm restoration will be a multiple-day effort.

    SAFETY:

    DOWNED POWER LINES: Never touch a downed utility wire, no matter how harmless it looks. It can be difficult to distinguish between a power line and a cable or telephone line. All downed lines should be considered energized and dangerous. And don't touch anything in contact with the line, such as trees, fences or puddles of water, since they can conduct electricity. Keep children and pets away from this potential hazard. Call SWEPCO to report any downed lines or equipment.

    PORTABLE GENERATORS: If you use a portable or RV generator, do not plug the generator into your circuit box. Portable generators "backfeed" electricity up the line and risk the lives of repair workers and the public. Follow the manufacturers' instructions carefully, and plug essential appliances directly into the generator.

    OUTAGE INFO:

    SWEPCO Mobile App – Report outages, check outage status, and more. Download at App store or Google Play.

    SWEPCO Alerts – Get an email or text message with the latest info for your home or business.
    See SWEPCO.com/Alerts.

    SWEPCO.com – outage map, report outages, safety information

    Update: Commissioner Pct 3 Charles Barr would like the public to know that County Road 3267 is open again after removing a tree that was blocking the road.


    April 13, 2020 - Commissioner Precinct 3 Charles Barr advises a large tree fell across CR 3267. The roadway will be closed for several hours between Highway 7 and CR 3267's intersection of CR 3193 for crews to be able to remove the tree from the roadway.

    National Weather Service Shreveport LA issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 7:29pm CDT, Sunday, April 12. 2020.

    April 12, 2020 - The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 8:15 PM CDT for Northwestern De Soto Parish in northwestern Louisiana, Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana, Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana, Marion County in northeastern Texas, Harrison County in northeastern Texas, Panola County in northeastern Texas, Central Rusk County in northeastern Texas, and Northwestern Shelby County in eastern Texas.

    At 7:28 PM CDT, a severe gust front was located along a line extending from 7 miles north of Berea to Woodlawn to 8 miles southwest of Marshall to 7 miles southwest of Tatum to near Turnertown, moving east at 60 mph. These severe winds are arriving well ahead of the thunderstorms.

    Radar indicated hazardous weather including 60 mph wind gusts. Expect damage to roofs, siding, and trees.

    Locations impacted include Shreveport, Bossier City, Marshall, Henderson, Carthage, Vivian, Haughton, Greenwood, Blanchard, Waskom, Jefferson, Benton, Stonewall, Logansport, Tatum, Tenaha, Timpson, Plain Dealing, Oil City and Beckville.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building. Wind damage with these storms will occur before any rain or lightning. Do not wait for the sound of thunder before taking cover. SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY inside a sturdy structure and stay away from windows.

    April 12, 2020 - Severe storms including straight-line winds and possible tornados Sunday left approximately 22,000 SWEPCO customers without power.

    Another line of storms moving through Arkansas tonight may cause additional outages.

    As of 4:15 p.m. Sunday, about 10,900 customers were without power, including 8,686 in Louisiana, 2,157 in Texas, and 13 in Arkansas. SWEPCO crews and contractors continue to assess damage and are working to restore power as safely and quickly as possible.

    "Remember to please give our crews at least six feet of distance if you see them out,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Distribution. “We appreciate your patience as we work to get your power flowing again.”

    Extensive damage to SWEPCO’s power grid – including dozens of downed poles and wires --  has been reported in and around Bossier City, Shreveport, Haughton, and Mansfield.

    SWEPCO expects to restore power to 95% of customers by:

    Louisiana

    • Bossier City – 10 p.m. Monday
    • Haughton – 10 p.m. Tuesday
    • Shreveport – 2 p.m. Wednesday

    Texas

    • Carthage – 10 p.m. Sunday
    • Henderson – 10 p.m. Sunday
    • Kilgore – 10 p.m. Sunday
    • Longview – 10 p.m. Sunday
    • Marshall – 10 p.m. Sunday

    Arkansas

    • Texarkana – 10 p.m. Sunday

    Note: Your power may be restored before this time.

    SAFETY: 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.
    OUTAGE INFO:

    SWEPCO Mobile App – Report outages, check outage status, and more. Download at App store or Google Play.

    SWEPCO Alerts – Get an email or text message with the latest info for your home or business. See SWEPCO.com/Alerts.

    SWEPCO.com – outage map, report outages, safety information

    April 12, 2020 - The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a

    * Tornado Warning for...
      Southeastern Panola County in northeastern Texas...
      Northwestern Shelby County in eastern Texas...

    * Until 930 AM CDT.

    * At 903 AM CDT, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado
      was located over Timpson, or 15 miles northwest of Center, moving
      northeast at 60 mph.

      HAZARD...Tornado and quarter size hail.

      SOURCE...Radar indicated rotation.

      IMPACT...Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
               shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed.
               Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur.  Tree
               damage is likely.

    * Locations impacted include...
      Logansport, Tenaha, Timpson, Joaquin, Deadwood, Woods and Paxton.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

    TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest
    floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a
    mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter
    and protect yourself from flying debris.

    April 10, 2020 - I would like to wish everyone a wonderful and happy Easter. As of this afternoon, Shelby County’s number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 32. These numbers are very concerning to me, especially with the Easter weekend starting today. I cannot stress strongly enough the need for caution, continue to follow all of the guidelines that you have been hearing for the last month. Stay at home as much as possible; keep your social circle small. When shopping, go in the store, get what you need, make payment and return home.

    I encourage businesses that are interacting with customers to use face masks and wash your hands or sanitize them after ever transaction. If you are wearing gloves and not changing them between transactions, you may be cross-contaminating, therefore, spreading the virus more. Be smart and know that your actions affect the people around you. Also, please dispose of your gloves appropriately and not on the ground.

    On a personal note, I am praying for our County and I urge you to join me. We need to lift each other up and bring our best selves to this fight. I don’t know why our numbers are so high, there are many theories out there; but I do know that we are in this together. I want to thank the medical heroes working on the front lines of this battle; I appreciate you and salute you. I pray for your continued mercy and strength.

    Have faith, be smart, be kind, be well, be strong, stay safe!!

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