COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association
Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association (PRVEPA) crews are responding to outages caused by a tornado that struck the Columbia area this afternoon. Significant damage appears to have been caused to primary power lines along Highway 98, as well as to other lines throughout Marion County. Damage was also sustained in a few areas in Lamar County.
As of 6:00 p.m., approximately 4,100 member-consumers were without service in the two counties. Line crews from the Association's district offices in Hattiesburg, Purvis and Wiggins were called to help Columbia crews with assessing damage and beginning restoration. The crews plan to work well into the night and begin work again first thing in the morning. Additional crews from outside the area are scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning to help with the effort.
"We are still trying to determine the extent of the damage, but so far we have at least 100 poles that will need to be replaced," said Randy Wallace, PRVEPA's general manager. "Once we know exactly what we face—probably by tomorrow morning—we will be better able to plan for a full restoration as quickly as possible."
Updated information about outages and restoration efforts will be provided regularly to all local media outlets. Storm-related information can also be found at www.PRVEPA.com.
Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association serves more than 47,000 member-consumers in parts of 12 counties in south Mississippi. The Association's headquarters is in Columbia, with district offices located in Hattiesburg, Purvis and Wiggins.
Anyone who sees a broken or burning wire should stay away and call Pearl River Valley Electric or local authorities. Warn others to keep clear of the fallen line and avoid contact with trees, fences or anything else the line may be touching.
During extended outages, some members may use portable generators at their homes or businesses. It's very important to use all generators correctly. Do not use an extension cord to plug a generator into a household outlet. This can cause serious injury to you and/or restoration crews. Instead, only connect appliances directly to the generator. If you have any questions about the use of a generator, visit www.PRVEPA.com or call PRVEPA and ask for generator assistance.
HOME ELECTRICAL DAMAGE
As Pearl River Valley Electric crews make repairs to the electric system, it is important that members make sure the electric facilities at their homes or businesses are intact. Pearl River Valley Electric cannot restore electricity wherever electric meter boxes or service entrance pipes on the side of a facility are damaged. Members are responsible for contacting a licensed electrician to have those repairs made and may then call to have power restored.