In some ways it’s hard to believe it has been nine years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast. While much has been done to recover from the worst natural disaster in history to strike North America, some things remain undone. And then again, it seems like it was only a short time ago.
The company had 1,200 employees at that time and the number of support personnel who came to assist with restoration of service quickly swelled to 12,000. Thanks to that support, our customers, who could receive power, had their electric service restored in 12 days.
Day one following the storm not a single customer, out of 195,000, had electric service. However, a news release dated 8 a.m. Sept. 1, 2005, announced power had already been restored to 14,000 customers.
Mississippi Power employees proved teamwork makes even the most daunting job possible.
“This time of year is the height of hurricane season, and 40 percent of the company’s current workforce joined Mississippi Power after Hurricane Katrina,” said Mississippi Power Storm Director Randall Pinkston. “Employees are urged to remain storm ready and keep their family plan updated.”
The area recently remembered the 45th anniversary of Hurricane Camille, which also struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the month of August. Camille made landfall just before midnight on Aug. 17, 1969. At that time, it was the most severe storm to hit North America.
Comparisons between hurricanes Camille and Katrina:
|Pre-landfall – 135,000 customers||Pre-landfall – 195,000 customers|
|Post landfall – 104,000 customers without service||Post landfall – 195,000 customers without service|
|13.6% of 477 MW of capacity available||3% of 3,000 MW of capacity available|
|First day restored service to 32,000 customers||Second day restored service to 14,000 customers|
|35% of 230 kV lines and 77% of 46 kV lines down||65% of T&D facilities damaged|
|174 transmission towers down||300 transmission structures damaged|
|Service restored to all customers who could receive it, in 12 days||Service restored to all customers who could receive it, in 12 days|
|Peak day of restoration, 1,350 workers from outside the company worked in the service area||Peak day of restoration, 12,000 workers from outside the company worked in the service area|
|June 3, 1970, Mississippi Power received the Edison Electric Institute’s highest honor, the Edison Award for its swift and effective measures leading to restoration of electric service after Hurricane Camille’s devastation.||January 11, 2006, Mississippi Power received the Edison Electric Institute’s highest honor, the Edison Award for its swift and effective measures leading to restoration of electric service after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.|