Downed lines

A man uses a small skid-steer loader to remove debris from Sampson Street in Westlake.

Beauregard Electric officials said Friday that restoration efforts being performed throughout their seven-parish service area will be “a marathon, not a sprint.”

Just over one week after the historic landfall of Hurricane Laura, BECi officials said that more than 1,100 utility workers are continuing to work daily at restoring electricity to nearly every one of its 43,000 members. 

BECi general manager Kevin Turner described the effort as “herculean.”

“BECi is working with crews from across the nation to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. We are taking every measure we can to restore electricity to our members. This effort will also require communication and continued patience from our members as we work together to rebuild in the wake of the storm,” Turner said.

Since the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Laura, BECi crews have been assisted by over 1,500 utility workers from nearly 12 different states. As of Friday, officials say the cooperative has restored power to roughly 4,000 members. Those figures include 850 power restorations in Beauregard Parish and 2,506 in Vernon Parish. 

Full power restoration to all members is expected to take an additional three weeks. 

Spokesperson Danielle Tilley said that the local crew employees understand the struggles members are facing now, as most are working while they remain without power at their own homes or have lost their own home completely.   

“Despite those personal challenges, our entire team is focused on helping the community recover by making daily progress to get the lights back on as soon as possible,” Tilley stated. 

BECi has faced several hurdles in restoring power throughout the service area, including severe damage to its transmission infrastructure. 

Covid-19 continues to be an ever-present hurdle, as crews strive to continue to follow safety protocols amid the ongoing pandemic. Tilley said members are advised not to approach crews in an effort to continue social distancing practices and allow crews to continue working safely. 

 

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