Electric Utilities Assisting Georgia, S. Carolina

Meridian, Miss. Electric utilities in East Mississippi are responding to help agencies in Georgia and South Carolina deal with expected outages due to winter weather.

Twenty-nine East Mississippi Electric Power Association linemen, right-of-way workers, servicemen, mechanics and engineers are en route to Aiken, South Carolina, to restore electric service to the members of Aiken Electric Cooperative. Initially, EMEPA planned to help in a Georgia town.

Aiken Electric’s service territory is among the areas hit the hardest by the severe winter storm cutting across the Southeast and as a result has experienced many power outages and downed power lines. The electric cooperative serves more than 42,000 meters in nine counties in west central South Carolina. Aiken Electric reported over 29,000 outages as of this morning.

EMEPA crews are expected to return in about seven days.

Southern Pine Electric Power Association is also mobilizing employees and equipment to help restore power in Georgia.

Southern Pine will send 10 linemen, a supervisor, derrick trucks and bucket trucks to help Washington EMC, which is headquartered in Sandersville, Ga. The electric cooperative provides energy services to around 15,300 members in 10 counties in central Georgia.

“One of the principles that we follow is cooperatives helping other cooperatives,” said Southern Pine General Manager Donald L. Jordan. “When another cooperative needs help we provide assistance, just as other co-ops have helped us after major storms.”

The Southern Pine employees were scheduled to leave Wednesday afternoon. It’s unknown how long they will be gone.

Mississippi Power deployed a storm team of 101 personnel (75 line crew and 26 support), including Meridian area employees, to assist Georgia Power.

The company says crews are stationed about 75 miles southeast of Atlanta where the majority of the outage reports include broken poles and limbs/trees on power lines.