Pineville, La., Oct. 28, 2020 – In addition to Cleco resources, the company has secured contractors and will continue to evaluate resources as Zeta strengthens to a Category 2 Hurricane.
“While the track hasn’t changed, meteorologists believe the storm will likely strengthen to a Category 2 Hurricane before making landfall on the southeast Louisiana coast later today. Maximum winds at landfall are expected to be near 100 mph,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “We’ve secured additional workers as a result of the new forecast. In addition to Cleco personnel, we now have over 450 contractors to help restore power.”
Based on the storm’s current track, Cleco customers in St. Tammany and Washington parishes should be prepared for heavy rainfall, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and power outages.
“As with every storm, there will be challenges,” said Lass. “We’re still in a global health pandemic, there is currently a high demand for contractors due to bad weather in other parts of our country, and Louisiana has had a tremendous amount of rainfall this season making it more likely that trees will be uprooted due to the saturated ground.”
To prepare for the storm:
- Cleco activated its storm teams on Monday.
- In addition to Cleco personnel, the company has secured 228 distribution line mechanics, 213 distribution vegetation specialists and 20 transmission damage assessors to help restore power after Hurricane Zeta passes.
- Cleco also has secured lodging for out-of-town workers and planned for fuel and specialized equipment like drones, off-road and high-water vehicles.
To help keep employees and customers safe, some Cleco customer service offices are closed.
- Covington, Mandeville and Slidell customer service offices will be closed today.
Customers are encouraged to:
- Prepare a storm kit. Gather supplies you might need during a power outage, including a flashlight, batteries, canned food, manual can opener, bottled water, medication and a first aid kit.
- Clear patio furniture and other objects that could move during high winds and cause damage or injury.
- Charge cell phones, tablets and laptops.
- Test run portable generators. Do not connect portable generators to your electrical wiring and never operate a generator in an enclosed space like a garage.
- If water is getting close to your home or business, turn off individual breakers and then turn off the electricity at the main breaker.
- Remember to call 911 and Cleco at 1-800-622-6537 to report an unsafe situation involving electricity.
For additional storm preparation and safety tips, visit cleco.com and follow us on Facebook at @ClecoPower.