Dixie Electric Power Association gets ready for Isaac

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As we approach the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it seems as though we are being put to the test, to see what we learned from that devastation, by Tropical Storm Isaac.

Dixie Electric Power Association officials say they are ready to put their preparations to the test.

When it comes to preparedness, the association is days ahead of schedule with an emergency response plan activated Friday.

"Additional polls, transformers, regulators, just the materials we used for out power lines," said Dixie Electric Power Association Resource Manager, Lydia Walter.

Walters says the association is a cooperative of about 95 workers, but back up for whatever Isaac may bring is only a phone call away.

"We can call in as many crews as we think that we need. We have a network of electric cooperative all across the nation. There are 850 cooperatives, so that is a resources that we can call on," said Walters.

You may be thinking, what about your calls?

"We have a new after hours company called the Cooperative Response Center that will be helping us answer phone calls," said Walters.

Walters says if members of the company's seven county coverage area experience a power outage she encourages them to be patient.

"We serve about eight meters per line a mile. So, what that means is when our line crews turn on one mile of power line they get eight homes or businesses back on, as compared to an investor owned utility like Mississippi Power,  they may have 25 or 30 homes and businesses on that same mile of line," said Walter.

Dixie Electric Power's main number is 601-425-2535. Give them a call if you have any questions. Walters also wanted to warn everyone that if you see a down power line stay away from it and treat it as if it is energized, and be sure to call the association with the location of the down line.