Mississippi Power remembers Hurricane Camille

Mississippi Power remembers Hurricane Camille

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Aerial view of Gulfport following Hurricane Camille in 1969. Photo by Graphic Press, Biloxi
Aerial view of Gulfport following Hurricane Camille in 1969. Photo by Graphic Press, Biloxi

As south Mississippi reflects on the destruction brought by Hurricane Camille 45-years ago this weekend, Mississippi Power remembers the heroic efforts of its nearly 800 employees who worked tirelessly to restore electric service amid the devastation.

All but 15 percent of the company’s system load was destroyed and every municipality in the Gulfport and Hattiesburg divisions was without power. Nearly 1,600 emergency workers joined Mississippi Power employees in the effort to restore electric service across the company’s territory.

For two weeks, every division worked 12-hours a day, seven-days-a-week and by September 1, 1969, virtually all customers who could receive power had their service restored.

“The efforts of Mississippi Power employees in the aftermath of Hurricane Camille were the first steps out of the darkness for thousands of south Mississippi residents,” Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland said. “Not only did these men and women rebuild our power delivery system, but they put in place a storm plan that we continue to build upon today.”

Fred Montgomery installs an American flag in front of the General Office in Sept. 1969.
Fred Montgomery installs an American flag in front of the General Office in Sept. 1969.

Following Camille’s landfall, Mississippi Power developed an emergency storm plan which is revised annually and outlines the responsibility of each employee along with company procedures to be implemented before, during and after a storm.

“We stand ready to respond to any storm which threatens our service area and to honor the men and women who put customers first and showed courage after Hurricane Camille,” Holland said.

While the company’s commitment to its customers has not changed over the last 45 years, the way it communicates with them has.

This summer, Mississippi Power unveiled its enhanced outage notification system, which is designed to work with smartphones, tablets or computers, and allows customers to check on the status of their outage through text, email, or the Mississippi Power Outage Center app on their smart device.

Once a customer signs up, the system will automatically send updates about any power outage that might affect them, including information on how long the outage is likely to last and when the outage has been restored.

Signing up for email or text message notifications online is simple. After logging into their account on mississippipower.com, customers should select “Set Outage Alerts.” Or they can sign up for text alerts by texting “REG” to “MSPWR” or 228-207-7377. They’ll have the option to sign up using their phone number or Mississippi Power account number to register through text.

Customers can also report and get outage information with the Mississippi Power Outage Center app available for free in Android and Apple stores.