Power restored at Salvation Army, food saved - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Power restored at Salvation Army, food saved

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In the dark: The Salvation Army currently has more than 80 residents in need of shelter and food. In the dark: The Salvation Army currently has more than 80 residents in need of shelter and food.
Without power, the Salvation Army is unable to prepare food in the facility's kitchen. Without power, the Salvation Army is unable to prepare food in the facility's kitchen.
They're also at risk of losing the food currently stored in the facility's freezer and refrigerator. They're also at risk of losing the food currently stored in the facility's freezer and refrigerator.
SWEPCO crews working to repair lines damaged in Wednesday's storms and restore power. SWEPCO crews working to repair lines damaged in Wednesday's storms and restore power.
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Individuals, companies and local agencies all joined forces to help a social service agency during its time of need.  It was a reversal of fortune not lost on Salvation Army leaders, who expressed gratitude for all the help.  

KSLA News 12 was there when the power came back on to the Salvation Army headquarters on East Stoner Avenue in Shreveport, less than 24 hours after Wednesday night's severe weather knocked it out.  It was welcomed news for the 80-residents staying the Salvation Army shelter, who spent the previous night without air conditioning, on a hot, muggy evening.  And it was all thanks to the quick work of SWEPCO crews.

Those Swepco crews arrived early Thursday afternoon, July 24, to begin repairs on the damaged power lines supplying electricity to the Salvation Army.  "With a storm this size, we were expecting to be without power probably a couple of days," said Commanding Officer Major Ed Binnix.

Binnix told us the power line problems left the Salvation Army headquarters with low-voltage, ironically a worse situation for the appliances than a complete blackout.  "We had power coming on and off every couple of seconds, almost like a light show, and started over-heating some of our electrical appliances," added Maj. Binnix.

That forced them to manually shut down power to their whole building because of the problems created by the low-voltage.  Standing beside a power strip, Maj. Binnix pointed and said, "Had sparks coming, shooting out of the power strip."

Within half an hour of the arrival of Swepco crews, power was restored.  That left the second big challenge, turning on all the breakers.  They had been turned off because of all the problems caused by low-voltage that remained here after last night's storm.  

When you talk with some of the 80-people currently staying at the Salvation Army homeless shelter, it was the lack of air conditioning overnight that posed the biggest problem.  Kirstin Stone recalled, "Oh my God it was hot.  It was so hot." (laugh)

Since the Salvation Army serves three meals a day to more than 200-people, the loss of power here prompted several businesses to step forward offering to help.  That includes Chik-Fil-A providing dinner on this night.  "Oh, that's what the was?  That was good.  I was wondering.  I said, 'I know they didn't make that.' (laugh)  Yeah, that was good," added Stone.

And with 20 to 30 thousand dollars in frozen food in danger of spoiling without some help, a refrigerated truck was donated for the day.  Major Binnix says he's very grateful to all those people and groups that stepped forward in their time of need.  

As for the cost of any spoiled food, or damaged equipment from the low voltage... it should be covered by insurance.

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