It's been extremely cold the last two mornings, but for several Wiregrass residents yesterday their homes were even chillier.
Alabama Power Company officials say a power outage caused several thousand Houston and Geneva County homes, offices and businesses to be without electricity.
It was more than just an inconvenience at the Hartford police department.
Besides power, the phone lines also went dead.
The problem became even worse after the back-up generator wouldn't start.
Chief Greg Adams requested temporary back up from nearby Slocomb Police Department.
Fortunately, there were no emergencies during the outage, and within a few hours, electricity was restored.
An Alabama Power spokesperson says a heavy demand for electricity because of the sub-freezing temperatures likely contributed to the outage.
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Power Outage Safety Tips
- Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies, and other flammable materials. Remember to keep children away from open flames.
- Don’t open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary. Refrigerated food should be safe for about four hours, but milk, dairy products, eggs, meats and all cooked foods spoil quickly. A full, freestanding freezer will stay at freezing temperatures about two days without power; a half-full freezer can remain at freezing temperatures for a full day.
- Listen to local radio stations for status reports from CILCO about affected areas and restoration activities.
- Please consider turning off your heating and air conditioning systems and consider unplugging sensitive electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens, and home computers. Be sure to wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems when power is restored.
- Don’t leave electric ranges or space heaters on during a power outage. This may prevent possible damage from a fire to your home in case you are away when the power is restored.
- If a generator is connected to a household breaker panel or fuse box, you must turn off or disconnect the main breaker to your house. Electricity produced by a generator can feed back onto Entergy’s power lines, which can cause severe injury or death to CILCO line technicians or anyone who might touch a downed power line. If is important to remember that the danger still exists even if you do not see any downed power lines in your yard or neighborhood.
After Power Outage
- Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items and firewood in preparation for future storms.
- You can safely refreeze food if it still contains ice crystals, has not exceeded 40 degrees for two hours or more, or if it has been held at 40 degrees no more than two days.
- Don’t taste food with odd odor or color. Also, if it isn’t safe for you, it’s not safe for your pet.
Source: www.vcsd.org contributed to this report.