Gulf Power storm crews are helping sister company Mississippi Power restore power in the Hattiesburg area following a round of severe weather Saturday that spawned deadly tornadoes and left thousands without power across the Southeast.
A 76-person storm team and support staff deployed early Sunday morning to assist in storm restoration after a state of emergency was declared due to widespread power outages caused by Saturday’s storms that caused heavy damage and killed four people over the weekend.
Crews from across Gulf Power’s territory arrived in the storm impacted area Sunday afternoon and began restoring power throughout the day. According to Mississippi Power, more than 11,000 customers lost power after the storm hit. Less than 3,500 remain without power as of Monday morning.
“Our crews train throughout the year and are ready to help restore power whether at home or away,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “That’s the power of being a part of Southern Company — to be able to call on sister companies for help. We make every effort to respond as quickly and safely as possible to unforeseen weather events, whether right here at home or for our neighbors.”
Gulf Power has a strong history of restoring power, both at home and away assisting other utilities, traveling more than 30 times since 2008 to help other energy companies restore power to their customers.
Recently, Gulf Power was recognized by the Edison Electric Institute with the association’s “Emergency Assistance Award” for its extraordinary work assisting in power restoration efforts after Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew in 2016.
Gulf Power responded to the City of Tallahassee and Georgia Power following Hurricane Hermine’s landfall on Sept. 2. A month later, Gulf Power storm teams responded rapidly to calls for aid from Florida Public Utilities and Georgia Power, assisting with recovery operations following Hurricane Matthew in October. Gulf Power employees devoted more than 12,768 and 10,565 hours while helping to restore service in the wake of Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, respectively.