Wiregrass Electric continues restoration efforts
HARTFORD, Alabama — Wiregrass Electric Cooperative is continuing to restore power after Hurricane Michael left thousands without electricity.
“We have every resource available as our crews work to restore power to our members,” Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro said. “They have been working since Wednesday afternoon, and we will continue until all of our members’ power is restored.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 14,144 WEC members were without power, and the storm caused significant damage to WEC’s infrastructure.
Currently six of WEC’s substations (Burch Pond, Slocomb, Columbia, Cottonwood, Ashford and Hartford) have not had a transmission feed since Wednesday. This is because other utilities also have damaged equipment that feed into these substations. WEC is hopeful the transmission feed to the Burch Pond, Ashford and Hartford substations will return soon which would drastically drop the number of outages.
WEC has enlisted the help of 130 additional linemen from sister cooperatives and contracted crews. Restoration efforts continued throughout the night on Wednesday, and additional crews began working at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Kimbro urges all members to understand that rebuilding the infrastructure will take time and that some members may experience extended outages.
“Our crews are working as hard they can, but these build-outs will take time,” Kimbro said. “Our linemen must cut trees, clear the roads and rebuild poles. We are working as quickly and safely as we can, but this will not be an easy fix.”
WEC wants to thank the cooperatives who have sent crews to help: Sand Mountain, Cherokee, Marshall-DeKalb Electric, Baldwin, Central Alabama, Covington, Cullman, Joe Wheeler, North Alabama, Southern Pine and Tombigbee Electric cooperatives.
For live updates on the number of outages and their locations, visit wiregrass.coop/electric/outage-map/. WEC members can report outages by calling 1-888-469-6882 or by downloading the Wiregrass Electric mobile app. Members can also receive updates by liking WEC’s Facebook page.