Gulf Power storm crews are heading to Mississippi to help sister company Mississippi Power restore power after Winter Storm Benji blanketed the state with snow and ice.
A 30-member storm team will deploy Friday afternoon to assist in restoration after parts of southern Mississippi received up to half a foot of snow, making Benji one of biggest snowstorms to hit the area since records began. In some parts of the state, more than 80,000 homes and businesses lost power Friday 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.”
Even though Gulf Power’s customers haven’t experienced a major snow storm, the energy company’s crews have had plenty of storm restoration practice — they’ve traveled more than 36 times to 14 different states since 2008, assisting in power restoration efforts after storms such as Superstorm Sandy that hit the Northeast Atlantic coast in 2012 and after the devastating tornadoes that hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2011.
In 2016, Gulf Power responded to the City of Tallahassee and Georgia Power following Hurricane Hermine’s landfall. 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. For these efforts, Gulf Power was awarded the Edison Electric Institute Assistance Award for its extraordinary work assisting in power restoration efforts in a neighboring or nearby electric company.