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Hurricane Michael Restoration Press Release — Tuesday Morning, October 16, 2018

October 16, 2018

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative began its sixth day of restoration efforts on Tuesday with 2,596 members without power.

WEC has continued to make great progress in restoring power to its members but suffered a setback on Monday evening when a semi-truck caught a low-hanging phone cable and caused major damage, breaking two power poles and damaging four others. The accident caused 200 additional members to lose power, and crews had to be dispatched to make repairs.

“We want our members and everyone in the Wiregrass to remember that there are still a lot of road hazards following Hurricane Michael,” WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro said. “Our members and the public need to be aware of these hazards, especially those in the areas hit hardest.”

WEC began its day at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning with 225 linemen from around the state working to get power restored. The day began with a safety briefing, which is something WEC will continue to stress to its linemen and to its members.

Kimbro also wants to remind people that they can help keep linemen safe by being cautious while driving, especially if they see crews are working.

“We want to remind everyone about Alabama’s Move Over Law, which requires that drivers change lanes for utility workers,” Kimbro said. “By following this law you help keep linemen safe so they can return home to their families and you help get the power back on sooner by not causing accidents.”

WEC also wants to express its thanks for all the cooperatives and contractors who have sent help, as well as all the well wishes, kind words and prayers from its members.

As of 6 a.m., WEC had the following outage numbers:

Columbia Substation — 509 members (52 percent out)
Slocomb Substation — 3 members
Burch Pond Substation — 3 members
Limestone Substation — 790 members (29 percent out)
Ashford Substation — 67 members (0.04 percent out)
Cottonwood Substation — 1,081 members (63 percent out)
Rehobeth Substation — 72 members (.03 percent out)

System Total Outage — 2,596 (Down from 18,000)

For live updates on the number of outages as we know them visit WEC’s Facebook page and website wiregrass.coop/hurricane/.

Follow this link to view a video slideshow of the damage our line crews are having to deal with: Hurricane Michael Recovery Video.

Changes to 2018 Annual Meeting

In light of the massive restoration effort, WEC has decided to make changes to its annual meeting format.

The meeting will still take place on Friday, Oct. 19 but will be a quick abbreviated meeting.

“If members have already voted through our mail in process then they do not have to attend,” says Kimbro. “If members have not voted then they can come register and vote and then they may leave.”

The meeting will be moved from the warehouse location where it is normally held to the community room of the Hartford office.

“The warehouse where we normally hold the meeting will not be in a condition to have the meeting due to our active storm restoration efforts and safety concerns for members and the public,” says Kimbro.

Because WEC is a member owned cooperative the bylaws of the cooperative require that WEC hold an annual meeting.

Registration will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The business portion of the meeting will begin at noon with the agenda laid out in WEC’s bylaws. The business meeting will be brief and will be broadcast live on Facebook Live for members not in attendance.