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EIA member companies on the frontline of hurricane relief efforts

Gov. Kay Ivey took a tour of the damage from Hurricane Sally on the gulf coast Friday September 18, 2020. (Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)

The Energy Institute of Alabama released a statement Monday commending its member utility companies on Alabama’s coast that are tirelessly working to restore power and assist with Hurricane Sally clean-up efforts.

“These utility companies, and the selfless linemen and crews, have worked around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible to the impacted areas,” said EIA Chairman Seth Hammett. “We are grateful for their swift response and service in a time of need for south Alabama. EIA would also like to thank utility workers from neighboring states as well as personnel from the Alabama National Guard for their relief efforts.”

Alabama Power Company, as of Sunday, had been able to restore power to 99 percent of the more than 680,000 customers that had their power disrupted. These quick response efforts included the replacing of more than 1,500 spans of power lines as well as replacing over 400 power poles and over 500 transformers that were damaged during the hurricane. Alabama Power’s overall efforts included a storm team of more than 4,000 utility workers and support personnel from 14 different states.

Alabama’s rural electric cooperatives have also joined together to provide crews and relief efforts to the Baldwin EMC service areas most impacted by the hurricane.

With initial damages of roughly 2,000 broken power poles, 4,160 spans of downed lines and almost 4,300 trees on power lines, Baldwin EMC — the state’s largest electric cooperative — now has power restored to over 70 percent of their system, and 94 of the 100 total circuits on the system now have power.

Additionally, Alabama Rural Electric Association continues to spearhead coordination efforts involving Baldwin EMC together with 1,400 linemen and women in co-op crews from 11 different states to safely support relief and restoration efforts.

Electric Cities of Alabama crews have been able to restore power to nearly 80 percent of the more than 56,000 people that had outages due to the severe weather.

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The specific public power utilities assisting in south Alabama include:

  • City of Troy Utilities
  • Cullman Power Board
  • Decatur Utilities
  • Dothan Utilities
  • Guntersville Electric Board
  • Huntsville Utilities
  • Municipal Utilities Board of Albertville
  • Opelika Power Services
  • Russellville Electric Board
  • Scottsboro Electric Power Board
  • Utilities Board of Andalusia
  • Utilities Board of Tuskegee
  • Tallahassee, Florida
  • The Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach, Florida
  • Jacksonville Electric Authority, Florida
  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Orlando Utilities Commission, Florida
  • Lafayette Utilities System, Louisiana
  • Florida Municipal Electric Association
  • American Public Power Association

“When natural disasters strike, utility workers and crews are often the first responders, working to quickly and safely restore power and assisting the clean-up efforts,” said EIA Vice-Chairman Houston Smith of the Alabama Power Company. “We are committed to a full-recovery and remain incredibly thankful for these heroes who have come to assist on the coast.”

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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