Wiregrass Electric Cooperative responds to Hurricane Michael
HARTFORD, Alabama — Hurricane Michael left thousands without power throughout the Wiregrass, but restoration is already underway.
“It took years to build our electric system, and Hurricane Michael destroyed much of it in hours,” said Brad Kimbro, Chief Operating Officer at Wiregrass Electric Cooperative. “But, we began to rebuild the moment the storm passed. Last night our crews worked to assess damage and to repair what they could. This morning, they’re joined by over 130 linemen from across the state who have come to help us restore power to our members.”
As of Thursday morning, WEC had 14,500 members without power. At the peak of the storm, 18,000 were out. Many outages are a result of other utilities’ transmission lines not being operable. “Other utilities have equipment that feeds into ours, and some did not start work on repairs until this morning,” said Kimbro. We’re waiting for the reports from these companies before we have a complete picture of the restoration times for our members.”
Kimbro urges all members to understand that rebuilding this infrastructure will take time, and some outages will be measured in days instead of hours. “We have a lot of complex build-outs to replace, trees to cut, and poles to rebuild,” he said. “We are working as quickly and safely as possible, but this will not be a quick and easy fix.”
WEC wants to thank the cooperatives who have sent or are sending crews to help restore power: 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 location, visit wiregrass.coop/electric/outage/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, but Kimbro says it is much more effective if members report outages through the toll-free number or through the mobile app and not through social media.