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Wiregrass Electric Cooperative releases map with new estimates for power restoration

October 13, 2018

Wiregrass Electric Cooperative is ending its third full day of restoration efforts since Hurricane Michael devastated its distribution system. The cooperative has released a new map  that outlines the different areas of destruction the cooperative is encountering, as well as a guide for when members may expect restoration.

“We have prepared a map that will provide a visual reference of the damage our system has sustained,” said Brad Kimbro, COO at Wiregrass Electric Cooperative. “The map also gives an estimated timetable of when members can expect their service to be restored.” 

The map is broken up into three shades of color:

BLUE SHADE – WEC is finishing up in this area and should have service 100 percent restored today.

GREEN SHADE – WEC is working very hard in this area but the best-case scenario will be Monday or Tuesday before power is restored. For some in this area it could be later into next week. 

RED SHADE – This is what the cooperative is referring to as “ground zero,” where the heaviest winds and damage took place. The best-case scenario is that WEC will have power restored to most members in this area by Thursday — but Friday is more likely. It’s possible some people may even not have power until the weekend. 

“We encourage everyone in these zones to prepare and make arrangements accordingly,” said Kimbro. “We made the map to help our members as they make plans to deal with a lack of power. We understand this is frustrating but we want everyone to know we are working as quickly as possible given the massive amount of damage our system sustained.”

As of 5 p.m., WEC had the following outage numbers:

Columbia Substation – 871 members

Slocomb Substation – 450 members

Burch Pond Substation – 175 members

Limestone Substation – 1,793 members

Ashford Substation – 962 members

Cottonwood Substation – 1,583 members

Rehobeth Substation – 1,200 members

“We will be updating these numbers, by substation, every morning and evening,” said Kimbro. 

As an additional resource, WEC has prepared a list of roads served by its substations. “We know it can be confusing to hear ‘Ashford Substation,’ and not know if that means your road or not,” said Kimbro. “We hope this can help people have a more accurate picture of where their home or business is in our restoration efforts.”

Both the Outage Estimation Map and the Substation List are available on WEC’s hurricane response website: www.wiregrass.coop/hurricane. They are located under the “Resources” tab. 

Over 160 line workers began before dawn on Saturday morning cutting trees, clearing roads and rebuilding the cooperative’s destroyed distribution network. These workers will soon be joined by additional linemen and right-of-way crews. 

“We’re also asking for more assistance to help deal with the devastation caused by this storm,” said Kimbro. “By Sunday night we will have roughly 225 linemen working to restore power to our members. That doesn’t include the dispatchers and all the different WEC employees that have been working diligently since this storm hit. It’s truly a team effort!”