Singing River Electric crews restore power at West Florida Electric

(Update: Monday, 10/22 – Currently, 24 percent of Jackson County, Florida meters served by WFEC were restored. The co-op serves about 40 percent of their membership out of the Sneads District Office, which our SRE crews are working out of this week. The majority of the damage to West Florida Electric’s distribution following Hurricane Michael was done in Jackson and Calhoun counties, which are served out of this Sneads office.)

(Update: Friday, 10/19 – Singing River Electric will send a new nine-man crew to replace the crew that is currently working to assist West Florida Electric on Sunday, Oct. 21. As of Friday, Oct. 19, West Florida Electric still had over 17,000 meters without service. Singing River Electric crews are currently working in the Bascom and Two Egg communities of Jackson County, Florida. The Florida co-op has restored only 20 percent of the meters in this county. They expect full restoration by November 1 in this area.)

(Oct. 15, 2018) 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.

Follow our progress as we assist West Florida Electric by joining the conversation on Facebook and Instagram at SingingRiverElectric and on Twitter at SRECooperative.