As Tropical Storm Isaac looms in the Gulf of Mexico, many area government agencies and power companies have already began to make preparations in case the Vernon Parish area is affected by the storm.

Local agencies prepare for possible Isaac impacts

By ALIX KUNKLE
@LDLAlixKunkle

As Tropical Storm inches closer, many area government agencies and power companies have already started to make preparations in case the Vernon Parish area is affected by the storm.
At Monday's city council meeting, Leesville Mayor Robert Rose said that all of the city's public works vehicles had been fueled and that the various departments have purchased extra supplies. In addition, he stated that the city was looking for a generator to power "at least one" of the city's water pumps, but so far, they had been unsuccessful.
In addition, Police Chief Greg Hill urged residents not to wait until the last minute to stock up on necessities, such as gasoline or water. He also urged residents to call police if they noticed suspicious people in their neighborhoods.
In Shreveport, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) reports that hotels are currently being booked for additional line crew personnel, logisitics such as fleet vehicle fuel stops and feeding arrangements are being made, and construction contractors and tree-trimming crews are being held for emergency use. SWEPCO has also requested roughly 350 additional resources (linesmen) and 100 tree-triming crew personnel for restoration work from AEP operating companies from several states across the country.
SWEPCO also reports that line crws may not be able to work on downed power lines until wind speeds subside below 40 miles per hour.
Cleco reports that preparations for Isaac began last week, and the company has also been arranging for supplies and additional crew; Cleco also reports that all employees are on standby for any power loss.
As of 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, Vernon Parish was under a tropical storm watch which, according to the National Weather Service, means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the area. NWS officials expect wind speeds in central Louisiana to vary between 20-30 mph, and rainfall to total, at most, one inch. Areas in south central Louisiana could see two to four inches of rain and isolated tornadoes.
SWEPCO customers can report a power outage through the company's website, www.swepco.com. To report a power outage through Cleco, call 1-800-622-6537.