Beauregard Electric is asking members to conserve power amid a severe winter weather event that struck the area on Monday.
BECi officials reported a few substations were experiencing power surges by Monday afternoon, and advised members to unplug unneeded appliances and turn down heaters or thermostats by a few degrees, if possible.
If power is lost, members are instructed to turn off heaters until after the power is restored.
“Heating equipment pulls more energy from the power grid. When power is restored, if there is a large pull from thousands of heaters coming on at the same time it will cause a power surge and another power outage,” officials stated on the cooperative’s social media page.
Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford offered residents experiencing power outages to utilize BPSO lobbies as a safe haven for warmth amid the storm, if needed. Herford said residents may visit the main station in DeRidder, or one of the substations in Ragley or Merryville as an emergency shelter in the event of a loss of power or heat.
In addition, Herford said blankets, jackets and gloves are available for those in need thanks to donations and efforts from State Representative Dewith Carrier and the United Cajun Navy.
Herford’s offering was welcome news as the majority of businesses in the DeRidder area remained closed on Monday.
As of Monday afternoon,
DeRidder Police Chief Craig Richard told the American Press that local roadways remained covered in a wintery mix of ice and snow, but there had been no crashes reported.
“Tonight we will continue to watch the conditions,” Richard stated.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Lake Charles predicted Monday that additional winter weather could be possible Wednesday morning.