A large oak tree fell across West Main Street early this morning, knocking out power to nearby residents. Starkville Utilities Department personnel addressed multiple power outages throughout the city caused by a second round of winter weather overnight. 4-County Electric Power Association is also in the process of restoring power to nearly 9,000 members throughout the Golden Triangle and surrounding counties who lost electricity due to the storm. Photo by: Zack Plair/Dispatch Staff
February 18, 2021 10:26:32 AM
Nearly 9,000 of 4-County Electric Power Association's members are without power after a second winter storm brought rain, light snow and icy conditions to the region Wednesday night.
Jon Turner, 4-County's public relations and marketing manager, said it will be at least Saturday and possibly Sunday before linemen restore power to all the members.
"We got hammered pretty good," he said.
The bulk of the outages are in Oktibbeha, Noxubee and Choctaw counties, Turner said. Noxubee and Choctaw each have about 2,800 members without power, and Oktibbeha has another 1,000. Lowndes County has about 820 members without power.
Wednesday's storm was the second winter storm to hit the region since Sunday evening, when the Golden Triangle was blanketed with 1-2 inches of snow and ice. Temperatures were warmer Wednesday evening, with the National Weather Service monitoring station at Columbus Air Force Base reporting temperatures ranged from 31 to 33 degrees overnight Wednesday/Thursday.
Turner said 4-County on Tuesday afternoon had just restored power to the 800 members in Lowndes and Noxubee who lost power Sunday night, giving linemen a "light day" Wednesday and a break between the two storms.
"We did catch a little bit of a break," he said. "Our guys got to go home, get a decent night's sleep, come back in, start stocking up for today, which is a blessing because we were about as prepared again as we could be considering that we had all hands on deck for two and a half days prior to that."
The extent of the outages means 4-County will not be sending any help to Texas, which the Associated Press reported saw 3 million homes and businesses without power on Wednesday, in the next few days. If anything, Turner said, other cooperatives may send extra help to 4-County.
He also said other cooperatives around the state, including Central Mississippi and East Mississippi electric power associations, fared worse under the storm, with 20,000 or more members without power. Throughout the state, more than 200,000 people are without power, 4-County posted on its Facebook page.
Fallen tree causes power outages in Starkville
Some residents of Starkville were also without power after a large tree fell in the early morning hours Thursday, taking out a major electricity circuit near downtown. That tree has been removed and electricity restored, Starkville Utilities Manager Terry Kemp said Thursday morning.
"The tree took out service in the City Hall area and areas to the west," Kemp said. "It fell around 3 or 3:30 in the morning and we were able to get the tree cut up and removed and power restored after about four hours."
Kemp said he did not know exactly how many customers were affected by the outage. He said there were other scattered outages reported in other parts of the city.
'"I'd say, at this point, we have well over 90 percent of the outages repaired," said Kemp, who said the other outages were also the likely result of fallen tree limbs.
"We're putting our list together now and getting to work on those outages this morning," he said.
Starkville Utilities was also working to repair a main water line break on Highway 182 near Jackson Street.
Some without power in Columbus
About 120 Columbus customers lost power overnight, said Columbus Light and Water Interim Manager Mike Bernsen.
"Most of them were around the Pleasant Ridge area," Bernsen said. "We worked until 3 this morning and right now we're down to just 22 customers without service. We expected to have all of those customers back in service today."
1. Four injured in Saturday shooting COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. CPD seeks help in Military Road gunfire exchange COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
4. Monday Profile: 4-County lineman braves icy roads, works long hours during winter storm COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Arborists: Care needed in keeping trees healthy after ice storm damage COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY