Jeff Davis Electric Cooperative launches damage assessments

The city of Charleston is working to jump-start is plan to install more underground power lines...
The city of Charleston is working to jump-start is plan to install more underground power lines which city leaders say will help honor the historic and visual appeal of neighborhoods and homes and protect lines during big storms.(Live 5/File)
Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 12:03 PM CDT
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JENNINGS, La. (KPLC) - Many of Jeff Davis Electric Cooperative’s (JDEC) customers are without power due to Hurricane Laura.

JDEC reported that all of their consumers are without electricity due to fallen wires, damaged poles, and severe flooding.

“Hurricane Laura is the worst storm to hit our area with damaging winds and significant flooding. In preparation for the storm, we have recruited help from lineworkers from other states to assist in the recovery, " said General Manager Michael Heinen.

“The recovery and rebuilding effort will take time. Laura’s storm surge was significant, and the extreme floodwaters will complicate the restoration process. As conditions allow, JDEC is conducting damage assessments – a key first step to developing a roadmap to getting the lights back on as soon as possible.”

Damage assessments must be completed before restoration time can be estimated as process allows JDEC to strategically target power restoration efforts.

Consumers are encouraged to follow the following safety tips:

· Stay away from downed wires. Always assume they are energized. Contact the co-op to report downed wires or an outage.

· Avoid flooded areas. Flooding is a major threat from Hurricane Laura. Flash flooding can occur suddenly due to intense rainfall. Long-term flooding along rivers and streams can persist for days following a storm. When approaching water on a roadway, remember: Don’t Drown. Turn Around.

· Avoid crews working in the street. This will keep you and the crews safe and allow them to work on restoring your power.

· If you plan to use a portable generator, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use only when necessary. Don’t overload it and turn it off at night when you’re asleep or if you leave your home.

· To avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, place portable generators outside in a well-ventilated area, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors and windows. Never run a generator inside, not even in your garage. Do not connect the generator directly into your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.

· Protect food and refrigerated medicine with ice in an insulated cooler. If you are without power for more than two hours, refrigerated foods should be placed in a cooler. Foods will stay frozen for 36 to 48 hours in a fully loaded freezer if the door remains closed, and a half-full freezer will generally keep frozen foods for up to 24 hours. Check to learn more about when to throw out or keep food after a power outage.

· Turn off power to flood-prone basement appliances if it is safe to do so. However, if you have an electric sump pump, you should not turn off the power in your basement.

· Tune in to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.

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