Hurricane Sally rapidly intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph as it made landfall in Gulf Shores about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday. High winds knocked down poles and powerlines, and severe flooding caused destruction in communities across the coast.
Following the severe winds and floods, Alabama Power crews began extensive assessments and worked throughout the night to assist the nearly 660,000 customers affected by Hurricane Sally.
The majority of outages are along the Gulf Coast, with about 75% of Mobile-area customers without service. As the storm moved through Alabama, outages extended to areas in central Alabama and in the southeastern portion of the state. As of 11 a.m., restoration efforts have dropped the totals to fewer than 136,000 statewide, with 121,000 in Mobile, 14,000 in central Alabama and 900 in southeast Alabama.
Storm team evaluators are on the ground today in the hardest-hit areas to assess the full extent of restoration needs. Some areas remain inaccessible, with power restoration efforts expected to take several days.
“Safety is Alabama Power’s top priority throughout storm restoration,” said Kristie Barton, Alabama Power general manager. “Isolated flooding and downed trees make some repairs challenging and slow the restoration process. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we undertake this extensive restoration effort.”
Alabama Power positioned extra crews in the Mobile area prior to the storm, with more than 1,800 additional resources to help restoration. The company also is coordinating with its Southern Company sister companies and utilities through the Southeastern Electric Exchange for additional personnel to aid efforts. Approximately 4,000 resources are expected to be on the ground throughout the restoration process.
Customers in the affected areas are advised to stay away from downed power lines, as well as fallen trees and tree limbs that could be hiding downed lines. Always assume a downed line is still energized and poses a potentially deadly hazard. If a downed line is spotted, call Alabama Power at 1-800-888-2726 or local law enforcement and wait for trained crews to perform the potentially dangerous work of removing the line or any debris.
Power outages can be reported at www.alabamapower.com, through the Alabama Power mobile app or by calling Customer Service at 1-800-888-2726.