Wiregrass Electric will receive additional help from Alabama cooperatives
HARTFORD, Alabama — Wiregrass Electric Cooperative continued its efforts to restore power on Friday by restoring power to more than 3,000 members.
While this was great progress, WEC still has 9,746 members without power. They have enlisted the help of 56 additional linemen from eight Alabama cooperatives and additional right of way crews. They will be arriving on Sunday afternoon. “By Sunday night we will have roughly 225 linemen working on our system and they aren’t going anywhere,” WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro says. “We are so grateful for their help and for the help of the cooperatives that have been here with us the last two days. This is what being a part of a cooperative is all about.”
The cooperatives coming to assist are South Alabama, Dixie, Tallapoosa River, Black Warrior, Clark Washington, Coosa Valley, Pea River and Pioneer Electric cooperatives. The cooperatives already assisting include Sand Mountain, Cherokee, Marshall-DeKalb Electric, Baldwin, Central Alabama, Covington, Cullman, Joe Wheeler, North Alabama, Southern Pine and Tombigbee Electric cooperatives.
Power was restored to all WEC substations around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon. WEC then began the work to get its main circuits energized. “Getting our transmission lines energized was a huge step for us in this process,” says Kimbro.
The efforts will continue through the weekend in order to get power restored as quickly as possible.
WEC is not ready to give a timetable on when all outages will be restored. While 8,000 outages have been restored since Wednesday, there is still a lot of work left to do and some repairs will take days.
“Right now, there is just so much damage in Ashford, Colombia and Cottonwood,” Kimbro says. “Those areas were hit very hard and they are bad areas. We made a lot progress today in repairing our system and restoring outages. But it’s still going to take time.”
WEC recommends that anyone with any medical condition that requires electricity please relocate as soon as possible to a place with electric service. We are not able to prioritize a single home to get electric service in a neighborhood. We ask that, if you feel you are in medical need, you seek help immediately.
Members also need to stay away from downed power lines and assume all lines are live. Do not try and remove them from your yard or trees.
WEC is also appreciative of all the well wishes and prayers they have been receiving through their social media pages. Many members have reached out with questions and concerns. WEC can’t respond to each question but they are trying to respond to as many as they can with as specific answers as possible.
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.