Saturday update: Mississippi Power crews arrived in Georgia

Saturday update: Mississippi Power crews arrived in Georgia

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Published Oct. 8, 2016

9:30 p.m. — Mississippi Power’s storm team from the Meridian, Pine Belt and Coast divisions staggered their arrivals at a staging site in Adel, Ga., but all made it safely to prepare for power restoration Sunday morning in Savannah, Ga.

Savannah is one of the coastal areas hit hard by Hurricane Matthew on Saturday.

There are now 220,254 Georgia Power customers without power, down from a peak of about 342,000 earlier in the day.

“We’re going to get an early start because we have about a three-hour drive in the morning,” said Mississippi Power Storm Team Leader Melvin Roland. “While there were a few obstacles like heavy traffic and a couple of vehicle issues, we are very pleased everyone arrived safely.”

The team plans to eat breakfast at 5:30 Sunday morning, safety briefing at 6:30 and fuel up at 7 for the trip to Savannah.

Crews from sister utilities Gulf Power and Alabama Power are also staged at the Adel site.

When the team arrived, they parked their vehicles, grabbed some dinner then began to unpack in the sleeping trailers where they will spend tonight.

Hotels are scarce either due to power and water outages or they are full with evacuees.

6:00 p.m. update — The Coast Division crew has arrived safely at the Adel, Ga. staging site. The crews from Meridian and Laurel are due to arrive within the hour.

Georgia Power now has 223,506 customers without power, most along the coastline.

Mississippi Power’s storm team departed from Gulfport, Hattiesburg and Meridian Saturday morning, bound for the Georgia coastal region to help restore power from widespread outages caused by Hurricane Matthew.

The company’s 102-person team includes a north crew from the Pine Belt and Meridian divisions, and a south crew from the Coast Division.

“Our team is storm tested and ready to safely restore power wherever we are needed,” said Engineering Supervisor Joe Cole, who is leading the team’s south crew. “We are eager to get over there and help, but the first thing is to get over there safely, so today we’re focused on driving safely.”

Following safety briefings with emphasis on road safety, the north crews departed from their respective service centers at 7 a.m. and the south crew left the Coast Division Service Center at 8 a.m.

The teams are expected to rendezvous in the Florida panhandle, then make their way to a staging area hosted by sister utility Georgia Power in Adel, Ga. A storm team from Gulf Power, another sister operating company, also will be at the Adel staging area.

On Saturday morning, Hurricane Matthew continued skirting the east coast of Georgia and the forecast called for landfall in South Carolina after the storm traced the Florida Atlantic coastline on Friday.

At 7 a.m., almost 300,000 Georgia Power customers were without power, the majority of those along the coastline.

The Mississippi Power team is tentatively scheduled to work in the Savannah area, but that is subject to change based on the extent of damage and the need of crews.

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Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power earned the 2015 ReliabilityOneTM Award for outstanding midsize utility for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts as well as being a leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com andmississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter ,LinkedIn, Google+ andYouTube.