Power Company says restoration could take two weeks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 2004

Nearly 20,000 people in West Alabama lost power in the early morning hours Thursday, and a spokesman for Alabama Power Co. says service for some may not be restored for another six days.

Steve Hood, spokesman for Alabama Power, said evaluation crews were able to survey most damage in West Alabama early Thursday.

“The back side of the storm kind of fell apart,” he said. “By noon, we already had crews in Demopolis and Greensboro.”

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Just because crews made their rounds on Thursday doesn’t guarantee anything for power customers, though.

“Where we have been able, we’ve already restored power,” Hood said. “With some, we could close a breaker or change switches.”

Anywhere crews were able to reroute the power source, they turned the lights back on. After today, however, the expediency of the restoration may not be as quick.

“If people don’t have their power on by [Friday], then we’re probably looking at a week,” Hood said.

The reason for the delay centers primarily on the number of crewmen available and the extent of the work they must complete.

In places where power lines have been broken, customers can expect to be without power until Wednesday, at least. Hood also said replacing power poles will further delay service.

On newscasts across the state, anchors announced that crews from other states had offered their assistance to Alabama Power. However, Hood said residents in rural Alabama shouldn’t expect first dibs on the aid.

“They’ll be in Mobile, on the coast, and in your larger cities,” Hood said. “Basically, the crews we have in your area will be the ones who fix the problems.”

Though a delay should be expected in West Alabama, Hood said Alabama Power crews would work from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day — including Saturday and Sunday.

Hood also asked customers to be patient with the power company.

“After Saturday, it’s probably a good idea to call us back if you don’t have power,” he said. “We’ll continuously update our system, and calling will help make sure we still have you in the system.”

Making one phone call will suffice, Hood said.

“Please don’t call multiple times,” he said.