Alabama Power crews are closing in on the last outages in Southeast Alabama caused by Hurricane Michael, which devastated sections of the Florida Panhandle before tearing through Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. Officials Friday morning put the death toll from the historic, monster storm at 11, but that number could still rise.
More than 1.5 million people were without power Thursday night across six states because of the gigantic storm, which was still causing flooding issues as it headed into the Atlantic Ocean.
As of midday Friday, Alabama Power crews had restored power to more than 70,000 customers in the southeastern and eastern portions of Alabama.
More than 83,000 Alabama Power customers were affected by the storm as it passed through Wednesday afternoon and overnight into Thursday. By Thursday night, crews had fully restored power to numerous cities and towns in the affected counties, which included Barbour, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Lee and Russell. Power also was restored to critical facilities, including the Dothan Regional Airport.
Company officials expected to have power restored to 98 percent of customers who can take service by midnight Friday. Crews will continue working to restore outages to those in the hardest hit areas of Henry and Houston counties and expect power to be restored to all customers who can take service by midnight Saturday.
The storm uprooted trees, snapped power poles and damaged transmission lines among other damage across Southeast Alabama. Nearly 1,250 company and contracted employees from across Alabama Power’s service territory joined 245 local employees in the restoration efforts.
Alabama Power’s Customer Service Center (CSC) storm team have been assisting Gulf Power since Tuesday, taking calls from Florida. As of 10 a.m. Friday morning, Alabama Power CSC agents had handled nearly 850 calls on behalf of their sister company’s customers.