Nine days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, Mississippi Power employees and outside workers have restored service to 76 percent of the companys customers who can receive power.
Nearly 127,000 of our customers now have power, said Kurt Brautigam, company spokesman. Our goal of having all customers who can receive power restored by Sunday appears well within reach. In fact, we believe more than 90 percent of those customers will be back in service by Saturday.
All aspects of our rebuilding effort, including manpower, logistics, materials, and fuel, continue to run extremely well. The remarkable success were seeing is due to the fact that our 1,200 employees are being supplemented by a force nearly ten times that size.
More than 9,200 transmission and distribution workers from around the country have been brought into the area to assist with the effort. Two thousand additional workers are assisting at the companys generating plants and in support roles.
Several staging areas are housing and feeding more than 1,000 workers each. More than 5,000 vehicles are being fueled each day. Employees at the Gulfport Service Center unloaded 60 semi-trailers of materiel yesterday in a 24-hour period. To date, more than 6,000 poles and 1,000 miles of wire have been delivered and distributed throughout the companys service area.
Were getting very close, but we still have work to do, so were asking that customers remain patient as the crews make their way to areas that have yet to be restored, Brautigam said. I can assure our customers were coming. Everyone involved is committed to finishing this job as quickly and safely as possible.
Customers can report outages by calling 1-800-ITS-DARK (800-487-3275).
Customer restoration totals by division as of 6 a.m. 9/8/05:
Coast 51,569 72%
Pine Belt 38,560 65%
Meridian 37,172 100%
The company estimates that approximately 168,000 of its 195,000 customers will be able to receive service during the initial restoration.
Mississippi Power has also announced the status of its customer service offices.
The following bill payment offices are now open: Forest, Heidelberg, Laurel. Meridian, Newton, Quitman, Stonewall, Taylorsville, Union.
The following bill payment offices will open September 12th: Columbia, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Leakesville, Lucedale, Lumberton, Picayune, Poplarville, Purvis, Sumrall, Waynesboro.
The following offices will not open until further notice: Bay St. Louis, Bay Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Pass Christian, Richton, Wiggins.
Customers can mail bills to the P O Box address on their bill (P O Box 245, Birmingham, AL 35201).