All hands on deck restoring power in Alabama after Hurricane Zeta

All hands on deck restoring power in Alabama after Hurricane Zeta
Restoring power after an event like Hurricane Zeta is a team effort at Alabama Power, with departments like Customer Service, Supply Chain Management and Fleet Services all playing vital roles. (Alabama NewsCenter)

Hurricane Zeta did its worst to Alabama Power’s infrastructure throughout the state, but these are the times when many of the power company’s employees are at their best.

We all see the line crews out front doing the main work to get the lights back on. Behind them are thousands of other employees supporting their efforts by handling reports of outages, keeping trucks running and ensuring poles, transformers, cable and other supplies are where they are needed when they are needed.

Getting those supplies distributed falls on Supply Chain Management and it’s a massive undertaking for Southern Company in support of Mississippi Power, Alabama Power and Georgia Power, especially with events like Hurricane Zeta, which affected all three states and systems.

“Supply Chain Management is a key component at Alabama Power and Southern Company when it comes to restoring service during widespread outages like we’re experiencing in the aftermath of Hurricane Zeta,” said Coy Fredd, Alabama Power Materials Management general manager. “Hurricane Zeta did extensive damage to our infrastructure, requiring replacement and rebuilding of the system. We work hard to ensure our crews are not waiting on necessary material as they work diligently to restore service. Supply Chain field personnel are working hard across the system to get things done.”

Ensuring line crews are able to do their work is part of the job of Fleet Services. Not only do the department employees keep the Alabama Power trucks maintained and operating, they also support the equipment of workers from 19 states and Canada currently in Alabama to help with Hurricane Zeta restoration.

“The Fleet Services team works hard behind the scenes during storm support,” said Melissa Stewart, Fleet Technical Services manager at Alabama Power. “We are humbled and honored to be a part of this. The team truly enjoys being able to support and serve our Power Delivery customers from the setup and breakdown of staging area equipment, providing fuel support and performing mechanic repairs as needed.”

While Fleet Services is always hard at work, massive outages call for everyone in the department to kick it up to a different level.

“Our goal in Fleet Services is to be there for our customers when needed, and storm support brings out the best in our team,” said Jeff Martin, Fleet Services manager at Alabama Power. “A lot of the Fleet Services work goes on behind the scenes or after the crews are finished for the day. Our team does a great job to ensure equipment is safe and available for service the next day. Our Fleet support group and Fleet technicians have a ‘can do’ attitude when called upon during storm support situations. They concentrate on safety and do all they can to exceed expectations.”

The goal for everyone at Alabama Power is to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible for customers who have lost power. Customer Service is that vital link to those customers when it comes to reporting outages and sharing information about downed power lines and other issues.

“This is a committed team of patient, dedicated employees,” said Alisa Summerville, Customer Service Center director at Alabama Power. “Especially in times like this, when the damage is so widespread, our team pulls together to do everything we can to keep our customers informed. We realize this is a stressful time for our customers who lost service. We want the same thing they want – to have service restored as soon as possible.”

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