Melanie Beaty learned at an early age how Mississippi Power responds to storms.
“I remember after Hurricane Camille my dad walked to work,” she said. “He walked the railroad tracks from Long Beach to Gulfport. It didn’t matter that the Coast was destroyed. You went to work. He told us stories of the different things he saw in trees along that walk.”
Her dad, Tom Moulton, worked at Mississippi Power for 40 years. She eventually worked at Mississippi Power for eight years, including time in the storm center.
Now, she has the unique perspective of having her husband Jeff and her son Archie with Mississippi Power’s storm team based in Macon, Ga., this week to help with restoration efforts from damage due to Hurricane Irma which passed through Georgia on Monday as a tropical storm.
Jeff Beaty, a Marketing specialist in Petal, has been with the company for 37 years, while Archie has been a Pine Belt lineman with the company for almost 10 years. They have been on multiple storm trips, but this is the first one that they’ve been on together.
“She was accustomed to the power company life long before I met her,” Jeff said of his wife. “She knows what this is all about.”
And that gives her comfort while her husband and son are away helping others.
“I know Mississippi Power’s commitment to safety and I know that everything they do is going to be done safely,” Melanie said. “That allows you some assurance that they are going to be OK. We have neighbors and friends who have family on the trip, so we have a nice support group that keeps them lifted in prayer.
“Of course, when my dad was gone to work after Camille, we didn’t have cell phones, so we really couldn’t communicate with him for some time. At least now we can call or text and check in with them.”
Jeff’s duty on the trip is logistics while Archie has been working with the company’s North crew, restoring power to thousands in Dublin, Ga., and surrounding communities.
“If the food is bad or we run out of towels, I know who to talk to,” Archie joked. “We’ve both been on a lot of storm trips but it has never worked out where we’ve been on the same one until now. He texted me to see if I was going, so I think he was kind of happy to learn that I was.”
Mississippi Power’s storm crew – made up of 72 line personnel and 22 support employees – began work early Wednesday, starting with a safety briefing at 5 a.m., so they would get to their job sites around daybreak.
Mississippi Power crews are spread across a region of middle Georgia with the North team working out of the Georgia Power office in Dublin and tackling jobs in nearby communities, while the South team works out of a Georgia Power office in Hawkinsville restoring service there and in nearby towns.
“We had a good day on Tuesday,” said storm team leader Ken Richardson, the Meridian Distribution manager. “The main thing is we worked safely with no incidents or close calls. We were able to restore power to several thousand people, but there is still a lot of work to do, so we’ll be back in some of the same areas finishing up.”
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.