Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

Lafayette Utilities System sends crews to help La. public power communities restore power

Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) line worker crews were recently deployed to the City of Natchitoches, La., and the Town of Vidalia, La., to assist with power restoration efforts in the wake of outages caused by harsh winter weather.

Alex Antonowitsch, Public Information Specialist at LUS, on Feb. 18 said that five LUS line workers were deployed to Natchitoches through Sunday, while thirteen line workers were deployed to Vidalia.

They were deployed under a mutual aid agreement.

A total of 3,500 customers were initially without power in Natchitoches, while 2,500 customers were initially without power in Vidalia.

On Feb. 17, the City of Natchitoches reported that electrical outages were starting to be reported across the city as ice accumulation on power lines and trees were impacting its electrical system. “The Utility Department is aware and working to address these outages. Please be patient as weather conditions make our response slower than normal,” the city said.

On the evening of Feb. 18, the City of Natchitoches reported on its Facebook page that power had been restored to 99% of utility customers at that time. Crews are now assisting to restore power to isolated cases across the city, it said.

“Conditions have been very wet and icy. Our guys have been taking extra safety precautions especially when climbing the poles in this weather,” said Greg Labbe’, LUS Electric Operations Manager.

“The roads were slick with ice on the way to Vidalia. We had to cut away some trees blocking the road just to get there,” said Colby Boggs LUS T&D Foreman.

Antonowitsch on Feb. 22 said that both teams wrapped up Saturday and traveled to Jonesville, La., to help out with restoration efforts there on Sunday and were back Sunday night.