PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Several electric companies from the Pine Belt will be heading to the Alabama and Florida coastal area to help with restoring power for residents affected by Hurricane Sally.
Dixie Electric Power Association sent a group of 15 line workers and warehouse personnel to Baldwin Electric Membership Cooperative on the Alabama Gulf Coast as more than 78,000 Baldwin EMC members were without power after being directly hit by Hurricane Sally.
Linemen from Dixie Electric have been helping restore power to Beauregard Electric members in DeRidder, La. after Hurricane Laura hit the area.
“Unfortunately, this is turning out to be a difficult hurricane season for our neighbors in Alabama and Louisiana,” said Dixie Electric General Manager Randy Smith. “We are proud to respond to electric cooperatives in neighboring states and help restore electric service to their members.”
Along with Dixie Electric, Southern Pine Electric is sending 18 crew members to Baldwin EMC for power restoration efforts. The crew will leave the co-op’s Taylorsville headquarters shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday and will include employees from Taylorsville, Newton, Brandon and New Hebron.
Vice-president of Operations for Southern Pines Chad Lewis spoke about how crews were preparing for Hurricane Sally and how they are always open to sharing resources with other cooperatives that need assistance.
“Just a few days ago, Southern Pine was preparing for Hurricane Sally to make landfall on the Louisiana/Mississippi coast which would’ve directly impacted our area. We were spared this time, but the day will come again when we may need help from our sister cooperatives in the wake of a major storm,” said Lewis. “In the meantime, we are always glad for the opportunity to send crews and share our resources with other cooperatives in need of assistance, and we’re grateful to be a part of a community of cooperatives that come together to assist each other in times of need.”
Pearl River Valley Electric Association will be sending three five-man construction crews to help Baldwin EMC, as well. They will be away for as long as 10 days.
According to PRVEPA Manager of Member Services Leif Munkel, a second crew of 15 men will be sent for a second rotation if Baldwin EMC needs more help.
Mississippi Power’s storm team of 100 linemen and support personnel arrived in Mobile, Al. Thursday, as well, to assist with repairing broken poles and lines in Mobile and surrounding areas.