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Wiregrass Electric Cooperative releases new estimated outage times

Matt Boster

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Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Oct 17 2018 8:15 AM

HARTFORD, Alabama — As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative has 1,731 members without power after beginning the day with 2,596 members without power. “Our crews had another great day, but they are beginning to work on single phase lines,” says WEC Chief Operating Officer Brad Kimbro.

“Single phase lines take just as much time and men to restore as a threephase main feeder line but it may only restore power to 10 members when it’s finished being repaired. So, you may see outage numbers fall at a slower pace than in the first five days of this process.” WEC has every resource available working to restore power. “In total, we have 207 outside men helping our WEC lineman crews and support staff,” Kimbro says. “We have an additional 145 vehicles and equipment on our system in addition to our WEC fleet and equipment. Along with additional warehouse workers, engineers and mechanics.

We are doing everything in our power to get every member’s power restored and we will not stop until we do that.” WEC released a new outage map on Tuesday afternoon to give members an estimated timetable of when their power would be restored. The map is broken up into three colors — blue, green and red.

The green areas are expected to have power restored by Saturday, October 20 and the red areas are expected to have power restored by Sunday, Oct. 21. The red area includes Limestone, Cottonwood and Columbia which were some of the hardest hit areas by Hurricane Michael. “This map is designed with the best possible outcomes and it is an estimate,” says Kimbro.

“Some members power will be restored later than predicted and some will be restored sooner. We definitely expect many members to be restored sooner than predicted. We are doing this so our members can make preparations.” Kimbro also stressed that its difficult to know which substation serves an individual member so giving specific outage times for members would be very hard to do.

“Some of these areas still have a lot of damage.” Kimbro says. “We are doing everything we can to get power restored following this storm. We appreciate our members’ patience and also their kind words and prayers. It has meant a lot to our employees and the outside workers who are here helping us.”

WEC will provide an updated map each day with estimated outage time. As of 4 p.m., WEC had the following outage numbers:

Columbia Substation - 388 members (40 percent out)

Slocomb Substation - 7 members (.01 percent out)

Burch Pond Substation - 3 members Limestone Substation - 360 members (13 percent out) Ashford Substation - 21 members (0.01 percent out)

Cottonwood Substation - 909 members (53 percent out)

Rehobeth Substation - 16 members (.01 percent out) System Total Outage - 1,731 (Down from 18,000)

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