Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) has temporarily interrupted power to parts of its service area, including throughout East Texas, as part of an emergency procedure to reduce the load on the electric system and prevent wider-area outages.

The update came at 7 a.m. today (Tuesday).

According to it's website, SWEPCO is rotating the areas affected by the controlled outages so customers are not without service for more than a few hours whenever possible. The amount of time required to restore service could be delayed in some cases due to system and weather conditions. The temporary outages should not affect critical public health and public safety facilities.

SWEPCO is taking this action at the direction of Southwest Power Pool, the electric grid operator for 14 states. The action is necessary because of heavy load on the regional electric grid due to extreme temperatures across the region.

Before taking this emergency step, SWEPCO cut back on its own use and requested large industrial and commercial customers to reduce their non-critical use.

SWEPCO is asking those customers who have service during the rotating outages to continue conserving energy until further notice. Use energy needed for personal safety and to protect against property damage. Minor adjustments to thermostats, plus reduced use of lighting and appliances, can make a significant difference to the overall electric system.

The next update is scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

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