SWEPCO: Severe Weather Safety

By Christina Carilla | ccarilla@knwa.com

Published 04/03 2014 08:27AM

Updated 04/03 2014 08:44AM

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS-- With severe weather in the forecast, there is potential for power outages. If power lines go down, there are certain safety measures to be aware of.

Peter Main with Southwestern Electric Power Company wants to remind folks to stay away. He said downed power lines can be energized and dangerous. Since each severe weather situation is different, Main said crews are unable to predict which areas are at highest risk for power outages. However, if your lights do go out, SWEPCO asks that you remain patient.

Peter Main said, "In large-scale outages, our restoration efforts are going to begin with the jobs that can bring the largest number of customers on first and the critical care facilities like hospitals."

Main said response time depends upon the severity of the damage. However, if you plan on using a portable generator while you wait, SWEPCO asks that you read instructions carefully.

"Basically they need to run that generator according to all the manufacturers instructions. Plug lights and other appliances directly into the generator and just be sure that you are doing it safely," Main said.

Peter Main also said if folks do plug generators directly into their home panel, it could back-feed electricity into the outside lines. Once that happens, he said it is extremely dangerous for you and your family, and also repair crews.

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