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My lights are out! Now what?


Electricity powers our lives. We depend on it for nearly everything we do. So we understand how frustrating it can be when you’re left in the dark.

Power outages are never convenient. It takes a lot of hands to keep your power on, and even more hands to get it up and running when an outage occurs. Claiborne Electric Cooperative works hard to restore your electric service when outages occur, but there are necessary steps to take to ensure that power is restored to the majority of members as quickly, and as safely, as possible.

After a major storm, our line crews must identify which infrastructure has incurred damage. Sometimes, transmission towers and lines can be damaged. Transmission lines deliver power to substations. Most of the transmission lines delivering power to Claiborne Electric’s substations are owned by a separate transmission company. We pay this company a fee to deliver power from our power supplier near Baton Rouge to our substations along their transmission lines. If there is damage along these transmission lines, there is no power being delivered to our substations. Repairing damage to transmission lines is the first necessity when it comes to restoring power.

Next, damage must be assessed and repaired at Claiborne Electric’s substations. These substations serve thousands of members each. If the issue is isolated and can be resolved at the substation level, great! That means thousands of people can get their power restored at once.

At times, the issue cannot be isolated to one of our distribution substations. If that is the case, crews inspect supply lines between the substations and the meters they serve. If the supply lines can be repaired, power can be restored to the towns and homes those lines serve, as long as there is no damage to the tap lines.

Tap lines carry power to the transformers outside homes and other buildings. Line crews identify which damaged lines to work on first based on which lines can receive power, and which ones will restore power to the greatest number of members.

Sometimes, the service line between a member’s meter and the transformer is damaged. Have you ever lost power only to look next door and see the lights still blazing from your neighbor’s window? This is what we refer to as an individual or single outage. If this happens, report it so we know we have individual damage in the area that will require the attention of a line crew.

Power restoration can be a tricky business, so if you lose service in your home or neighborhood please remember the following:

  • Stay clear of downed power lines. Contact with these lines could be life threatening.
  • Report the outage to by using our free SmartHub app or calling 800-900-9406 as soon as possible.

Click here for a model of the power restoration process: Power Restoration handout

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