Eleven Singing River Electric employees left early Sunday morning, Oct. 14, to travel to West Florida Electric Cooperative to restore power to members who were affected by Hurricane Michael.
The crews were originally scheduled to leave at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, but were asked last minute to wait, even though 28,000 members – 100 percent of their membership – were without power and the storm had knocked out transmission to many of their substations.
“The issue was they had nowhere to house the visiting crews we were prepared to send,” said Singing River Electric Cooperative general manager and CEO, Brian Hughey. “We understood their predicament, having worked through Hurricane Katrina, and were ready to respond once they were ready to receive us.”
After working to secure two staging areas and large tents to house several hundred crew members, West Florida Electric asked the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi to deploy the crews.
Singing River Electric crews joined forces with 17 other Mississippi electric cooperatives to send a contingent of 50 crews and approximately 250 personnel to assist in Florida.
“Our linemen and personnel are working today to restore power in the Bascom community in the Florida panhandle,” said Hughey. “As of last night, West Florida Electric still had over 22,000 of its members without power. They anticipate full restoration to take several weeks.”
Singing River Electric serves seven counties in Mississippi (Jackson, George, Greene, Perry, Stone, Wayne and Harrison), as well as two counties in Mississippi (Mobile and Washington). The electric cooperative provides power to nearly 74,500 meters across 7,400 miles of power lines.