Customers encouraged to make final storm preparations and take shelter ahead of Hurricane Laura

PINEVILLE, La. – Aug. 26, 2020 (4 p.m.) – As Laura is now projected to be a Category 4 hurricane at landfall with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, Cleco is strongly encouraging its customers to make their final storm preparations and take shelter ahead of the storm. According to weather experts, Laura will make landfall later tonight into early Thursday morning. “Today is the last day to prepare. We strongly encourage everyone to make their final preparations and identify a place to take shelter until the storm has passed,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management. “As Laura moves inland, we can expect strong winds, lots of rain, flooding, downed trees, downed power lines and outages.” Cleco has a combined work force of 1,900 ready to respond to electrical system damage and power outages caused by Laura. This includes 500 Cleco employees, 1,300 distribution line mechanics and vegetation specialists and 100 transmission contractors.

Safety tips to follow before, during and after a storm:

· Have flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.

· Make a list of important phone numbers and family contact numbers.

· Make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged.

· Plan for medical or special needs.

· Report power outages by calling 1-800-622-6537 or by texting “OUT” from your cell phone to 25326 (Cleco). To sign up for text message notifications, text “REG” to 25326.

· Operate portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas and plug appliances directly into generators with grounded extension cords. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.

· Assume all downed power lines are live and stay away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 and 911.

· If water is rising, turn off electricity at the main breaker, evacuate and stay away until waters have completely receded.

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