Alabama Power crews supporting hurricane recovery in Florida, Georgia

Alabama Power crews supporting hurricane recovery in Florida, Georgia
Alabama Power crews have restored service to customers in Alabama and are now assisting in Florida and Georgia where Hurricane Michael created widespread outages and infrastructure damage. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

 

Alabama Power crews are hard at work today, helping restore hope and service to people in Florida and Georgia devastated by Hurricane Michael.

More than 1,500 Alabama Power company and contract crews are working in the two neighboring states, assisting Gulf Power and Georgia Power. They include distribution and transmission lineman support, vegetation management crews and drone teams.

Alabama Power Crews working in Georgia, Florida Panhandle from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday just shy of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained wind speed of 155 mph. Measured by barometric pressure, Michael was more powerful at landfall than Katrina or Andrew.

The Hurricane caused catastrophic destruction along the Gulf coast but also caused serious damage in southeast Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. As of Monday morning, the death toll from the storm had reached 18 – eight in Florida, three in North Carolina, one in Georgia and six in Virginia, with dozens of people still unaccounted for.

Unofficial estimates put damage from Michael at between $5 billion and $8 billion, with recovery in some locations expected to take months if not years. Some two million customers in multiple states lost power during the monster storm.

In Alabama Power’s service territory, more than 89,000 customers saw service disrupted because of the hurricane, which snapped poles and damaged transmission lines and other infrastructure. Nearly 1,250 company and contracted employees joined 245 local employees in the Alabama restoration effort, as soon as it was safe to start. Crews completed work in Alabama on Saturday before heading to Florida and Georgia to assist sister companies Gulf Power and Georgia Power. Alabama Power continues to maintain resources in Alabama to support any local customer service issues.

As of Monday morning, Gulf Power and supporting utilities had restored power to about 62,000 Gulf Power customers. About 58,000 remained without service. At Georgia Power, service had been restored to more than 375,000 customers, with about 14,000 still affected by the storm.

Alabama Power’s Customer Service Center (CSC) also provided support to Gulf Power in the immediate aftermath of Michael, handling nearly 850 calls on behalf of Gulf Power customers. Back at home, Alabama’s CSC storm team handled more than 52,000 customer calls – either directly or through the company’s automated system. The company also responded to more than 860 online inquiries via email or social media.

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