Wiregrass Electric Coop serves customers during, after Hurricane Sally
HARTFORD, Alabama (PR) — Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, which serves nearly 26,000 meters in southeastern Alabama, began power restoration efforts in earnest Wednesday as Hurricane Sally pushed through the area.
As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, about 1,500 meters were without power — a number expected to grow as Sally trekked through southern and central Alabama overnight. Hurricane Sally’s heavy rains and high winds caused trees and limbs to break and impact WEC’s power lines in several areas. WEC, however, utilized a number of steps to restore service to as many meters as possible Wednesday while keeping employees safe during the inclement weather.
First WEC utilized a supervisory control and data acquisition system that allows staff at WEC’s outage control center to adjust the circuits on which power flows, resulting in the restoration of power to some members.
Elsewhere, crews investigated and repaired outages caused by minor issues like blown fuses at the height of the storm. As the high winds relented, WEC employees began using bucket trucks and other heavy equipment needed to repair larger issues that developed on the power grid on Wednesday. WEC has also enlisted contract crews and crews from other cooperatives in several Southern states to assist in the full-scale restoration efforts.
WEC officials are coordinating with local emergency management offices to ensure crews do not travel on impassable roads. Moving forward, the heavy rains could slow restoration efforts as linemen will have to operate heavy equipment on soft ground carefully.
Despite the challenges, WEC remains committed to restoring service to its members as quickly and as safely as possible. Since conditions within hurricanes can change quickly, WEC encourages its members to follow its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the most recent updates.
WEC also has an outage map that is viewable at https://www.wiregrass.coop/electric/outage/.