Utility companies that serve the Golden Triangle said that by the end of the day Tuesday service would be restored to the handful of customers who lacked electricity following Monday’s storms.
Officials at Starkville Electric Department, 4-County Electric and Columbus Light & Water estimated that roughly 17,500 customers lost service after high winds that accompanied a major cold front passed through the Golden Triangle late Monday afternoon and early evening.
“It was pretty rough over here,” said SED director Terry Kemp. “Our initial estimate was that 60 to 70 percent of our customers lost service. That works out to anywhere from 8,500 to 9,000 customers.”
Todd Gale of Columbus Light and Water estimated the number of customer who lost service in Columbus at 1,000, while officials from 4-County said 7,485 members lost power, including 4,100 in Noxubee County and 1,968 in southern Lowndes County.
After having worked through the night Monday, most of the service had been restored by Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re down to 1 percent or less, about 150 customers, who don’t have power,” Kemp said Tuesday afternoon.
Monday’s outage was the most widespread since a storm that swept through the city in December 2010, he said.
“We’re going to try to get to as many of those as we can before nightfall (Tuesday) and we should have everybody back by (today),” Kemp said.
Kemp said two substations went down, along with transmission lines.
“We focused on the substations and transmission circuits which feed all the distribution and worked out from there,” Kemp said.
The story was much the same for 4-County, where officials said only about 60 customers were still without service Tuesday afternoon.
Much of the issues in Noxubee County stemmed from downed Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) transmission lines which supply power to two 4-County substations.
“We had crews working all night long to get power back on to our members,” said 4-County Manager of Operations Anthony Miller. “The continuing storms and heavy rain made for slow going, but our folks did an outstanding job.”
Gale said that while power has been restored for all CL&W customers, there remains work to be done.
“In addition to the outages, four traffic signals were destroyed on Highway 45,” Gale said. “We’re working with MDOT to get them replaced, but it may take several days.”
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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