From staff reports
The Meridian Star
Mississippi Power sent a team of 62 power line personnel and additional support team members to the Northeast Sunday to offer assistance as Hurricane Sandy prepared to make landfall.
Sunday morning, power line crews and additional personnel, who will provide mechanical, safety, security and logistics support, left for a nearly three-day drive toward Philadelphia, Pa.
The crews traveled to Cleveland, Tenn., Sunday and left Monday morning for Harrisonburg, Va. Weather reports indicated that the crews could encounter wind, rain, sleet and snow. To ensure a safe trip, teams from the Coast, Pine Belt and Meridian are traveling separately in multiple crews to avoid the hazards that come with moving in a caravan during inclement weather.
Mississippi Power received the request for assistance from Philadelphia Electric Company, PECO, which serves the Philadelphia area.
“Anytime another utility faces a natural disaster, we’re pleased to be able to lend our support,” said Mississippi Power Distribution Manager Randall Pinkston. “We are able to send crews to the Northeast to provide assistance, while still meeting the service and reliability needs of our customers here in Mississippi.”
Crews were asked to pack for 14 days, although the extent of damage will determine how long they stay. They expect to arrive in Philadelphia late this evening.
Mississippi Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, serves approximately 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties including Lauderdale County.
Southern Pine is sent five workers to Virginia Monday to help in power restoration efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
The workers will be assisting Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, which is headquartered in Fredericksburg, Va. They will have two service bucket trucks and a pickup truck.
This is the second time this year that Southern Pine crews have assisted Rappahannock Electric. Workers went to Virginia in July after storms knocked out power for millions of businesses and residents in the Northeast and Midwest.
Rappahannock supplies power to 155,000 meters in 22 counties in Virginia. The co-op stretches from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Chesapeake Bay.
Southern Pine, which is headquartered in Taylorsville, distributes electricity to 65,000 meters in 11 counties in central and south Mississippi. It also has offices in Brandon, Hattiesburg, Newton and New Hebron.