Southern Company is safely restoring electric service for thousands of customers in Mississippi and Alabama after Hurricane Ida and is prepared to help get the lights back on outside the system’s footprint after the storm left more than a million customers without power in Louisiana in its wake.
After wreaking catastrophic damage in Louisiana that included downed transmission lines that left the entire city of New Orleans in the dark, Ida continues to deliver strong winds and heavy rains on its path inland over Mississippi and northwest Alabama into Tennessee and the Northeast.
The system began preparing ahead of Ida to respond to weather impacts across our service territory and to aid others under the mutual assistance program. With each request for mutual assistance, the company first ensures sufficient resources are available to meet our system customers’ needs.
Mississippi Power crews worked overnight to restore outages as long as conditions were safe to do so, continuing efforts Monday with the help of about 1,000 additional system resources. Alabama Power was ready to respond at home and to help those in other states. Georgia Power sent about 500 company personnel and contract teams to aid Mississippi Power’s restoration.
“Our crews have done an outstanding job overnight working safely in some difficult conditions,” said Hurricane Ida Storm Director Melvin Roland of Mississippi Power. “We continue to experience rain and gusty wind as the storm continues to move inland, but our focus will always be on working safely. We know getting the lights back on is the first step back to normalcy.”
Ida made landfall just before noon CDT on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane with 149 mph winds at Port Fourchon, Louisiana. Landfall came on the same day that Hurricane Katrina 16 years earlier ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi. Ida’s 150-mph winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland.
Snapped trees, flipped vehicles and flooded streets were just some of the scenes as the storm wreaked havoc and temporarily reversed the Mississippi River's flow. Flooding, strong thunderstorms and potentially tornadic weather remain risks as Ida, now a tropical storm, continues to trek northeastward.
As of midday Monday, many southeastern Louisiana parishes were without power. Electric outages across the state of Mississippi tallied nearly 115,000, including about 7,000 Mississippi Power customers. Since noon Saturday, Mississippi Power has restored service to 20,000 customers. Service to about 4,000 Alabama Power customers was affected.
The Supply Chain Management organization is supporting recovery efforts. Southern Linc continues to provide reliable communications capabilities.
The response to Ida comes just one week after the Southern Company system helped restore power in the northeast following Tropical Storm Henri.