Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Mississippi Power has deployed a team of more than 50 employees from the Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, Laurel and Meridian offices to Little Rock, Ark. to assist Entergy with electric service restoration following Winter Storm Euclid.
Thursday morning, line crews and additional personnel, who will provide mechanical, safety, security and logistics support, participated in a safety briefing prior to departure on tips for driving on icy roads, according to a Mississippi Power press release.
Restoration efforts could extend into early next week, officials said, and crews were asked to pack for seven days, although the extent of the damage will determine how long they stay.
"Risks with winter storm restorations are somewhat different than summer storms, but our approach is always the same — safety first," said Distribution Manager Randall Pinkston. “We are able to send crews to Arkansas to provide assistance, while still meeting the service and reliability needs of our customers here in Mississippi.”
Mississippi Power sister companies Gulf Power and Georgia Power also sent employees and resources to assist with storm recovery. Total Southern Company support to Entergy at this time is 193 company line personnel and support, along with 120 contractor line personnel, the press release states.
“The call to duty is nothing new for our crews,” Pinkston said. “As part of the Southeast Electric Exchange’s Mutual Assistance program, we’ve dispatched line crews and support personnel to restore service in Savannah, Ga., Baltimore, Md., and across New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2012. Our crews are trained and conditioned to restore power in even the most extreme environments, whether it be post-hurricane or after a snow storm.”
Before sending crews to assist other utilities, Mississippi Power ensures sufficient coverage remains in its own service area to meet the needs of their customers, according to the press release.
Mississippi Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, serves approximately 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.