GULFPORT, MS -- Mississippi Power employees and outside workers have restored service to 98 percent of the companys customers who can receive power.
More than 159,000 of our customers now have power, said Kurt Brautigam, company spokesman. We should have everyone who can receive power back on by the end of the day today, 12 days after the worst catastrophe in our companys history. Our employees keep exceeding our expectations, and are now restoring service a day faster than our September 11 goal.
The company estimates that approximately 162,000 of its 195,000 customers will be able to receive service during its initial restoration. More than 16,000 customers were restored to service Friday.
Customer restoration totals by division as of 6 a.m. 9/10/05:
Coast 65,625 99%
Pine Belt 56,070 94%
Meridian 37,438 100%
We estimate there are only 3,000 customers left to reconnect at this point, Brautigam said. If customers can receive power and dont have it, we ask that they call us so we can get to them.
As restoration is completed in various areas of the companys service territory, crews are being released to assist other companies.
Were now implementing our exit plan, ensuring that we finish safely and efficiently, Brautigam said. Were still receiving materials and getting it out into the field to support the crews still working. Were also reducing the staging areas where all the crews have been staying, although some will remain active to support continuing local efforts.
Many of the Georgia Power crews have already left to prepare for the potential of Ophelia making landfall somewhere near their home areas, which highlights what a team effort this has been with all members of Southern Company. This miracle could not have been accomplished without much effort and support from the employees of our sister companies.
Mississippi Powers outage reporting number is 1-800-ITS-DARK (800-487-3275). To speak with a customer service representative, call 1-800-353-9777.
The company reminds customers not to pile debris around underground utility facilities and transformers, so theyre not damaged when piles are removed.
Mississippi Power announces the status of its customer service offices
The following bill payment offices will open September 12: Columbia, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Leakesville, Lucedale, Lumberton, Picayune, Poplarville, Purvis, Sumrall, Waynesboro, Bay St. Louis, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs and Bay Springs.
The following bill payment offices are now open: Forest, Heidelberg, Laurel, Meridian, Newton, Quitman, Stonewall, Taylorsville and Union.
The following offices will not open until further notice: Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Pass Christian, Richton and Wiggins.
Customers can mail bills to the P.O. Box address on their bill (P.O. Box 245, Birmingham, AL 35201)
Mississippi Power announces procedures for restoring service to damaged homes
In cases where there is no visible damage to the customers electrical facilities, Mississippi Power will restore service following normal procedures after verifying that all facilities are in good working order.
In cases where there is no visible damage to the customers electrical facilities but it appears that flood waters have exceeded the height of the electrical receptacles, service will not be restored. If the customer is insistent that repairs have been made and that service should be restored, they can sign a release form that states they understand that they bear responsibility for any physical or property damage that may result from doing so. The customers circuit breakers will then be turned off and service restored, and it will be the customers responsibility to turn the circuit breakers back on.
In cases where there is visible damage to the customers electrical facilities, service will not be restored.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, serves 195,000 customers in 23 Southeast Mississippi counties. For more information and daily updates on the companys progress toward restoring service, go to www.mississippipower.com.
With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Visit the Southern Company Web site at www.southerncompany.com.
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