Southern Company is sending resources to help get the lights back on after Hurricane Laura left more than 800,000 customers without power across Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
More than 1,400 Southern Company resources from all three of the system’s electric operating companies have headed to Texas and Louisiana after Laura made landfall early Thursday in western Louisiana as a devastating Category 4 hurricane.
The resources are responding under the industry’s mutual assistance program that coordinates resources across hundreds of energy providers around the country. The program helps utilities respond to major events like storms and other disasters when additional resources are needed to safely and quickly restore power. This strategic support is a hallmark of the industry’s collaboration to reliably serve those who count on us.
Among those responding to Laura’s destruction are distribution linemen, vegetation management personnel, support staff, native contractors and others from Alabama Power, Georgia Power and Mississippi Power.
The latest response comes on the heels of nearly a thousand Southern Company system resources helping restore power to millions in the Northeast after Tropical Storm Isaias and in the Midwest following a violent derecho wind event that tore through that region.
The storm responses come amid measures help workers stay safe from the coronavirus while keeping the lights on and gas flowing. Southern Company and the industry remain ready to safely respond while continuing to follow protocols, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to protect against COVID-19 during storm preparedness and mutual assistance planning.
On Thursday, approximately 100 personnel and crews from Georgia Power made their way to a staging location in Baton Rouge before receiving assignments. An additional 300 Georgia Power support personnel have been cleared to aid in any additional restoration.
Mississippi Power is sending a storm team of more than 85 linemen, engineers, logistics, safety and security employees to hardest-hit Louisiana.
About 350 Alabama Power responders from across Alabama, including line crews and support personnel, departed crew headquarters Thursday morning. Crew foreman Jason Wood said his crew was eager to help crews in other states.
“These guys come and help us when something happens,” Wood said. “We’re returning the favor to go help them in their time of need.”
As of noon EDT Friday, more than 650,000 customers remained without power across Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. With each request for assistance, Southern Company ensures that it has sufficient resources available to respond to any potential service interruptions in its local territory.