SWEPCO uses drone to help restore power in Longview, thousands still in the dark

More than 16,500 customers still without power in East Texas

SWEPCO uses drone to help restore power in Longview, thousands still in the dark

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -SWEPCO crews are using a drone along Bill Owens Parkway in Longview for a low-level assessment of damage to power lines.

SWEPCO’s Mark Robinson says this is the first time they’ve used a drone in the Longview district.

“We’re excited about this new technology,” Robinson said. “And we’re hoping it allows us to restore power even quicker than we usually do.”

The drone utilized by Fenix ISR allows them to assess damage without sending a person into heavy vegetation or high water.

There’s a high definition camera attached to the drone that captures close-up images in real time and feeds them back to a computer. They also capture still shots and video to analyze later.

Robinson says crews from Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas are in East Texas working to restore power. He says some customers could be without power until Monday night.

UPDATE FROM SWEPCO (5:15 PM FRIDAY)

Remaining outages include 16,500 customers in Texas.

Estimated times of restoration for 95% of customers that can take service (many customers’ power will be restored sooner):

Longview District:

Gilmer – 68 – Noon Saturday

Gladewater – 1,205 – Noon Sunday

Kilgore – 135 – Noon Saturday

Longview – 14,979 – 10 p.m. Monday

Marshall – 83 – Noon Saturday

Mineola – 41 – 10 p.m. Saturday

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