Mississippi Power to Assess Damage Today

Mississippi Power will begin the rebuilding process today to restore service to its customers. All of the company’s 195,000 customers are without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“Along with Southern Mississippi and surrounding areas, Mississippi Power has suffered the worst catastrophe in our company’s history,” said Anthony Topazi, president and CEO of Mississippi Power. “We mourn the loss of life and pray for the families who have suffered from this tragedy.

“By Tuesday afternoon we will have an initial assessment of the extent of time necessary to restore electric service to our customers,” added Topazi. “Thousands of additional personnel are poised and ready to assist our employees in beginning the work of rebuilding our electric system.”

Initial assessments to determine the extent of destruction began Tuesday at daybreak.

“To support our employees in the restoration effort, more than 2,000 additional workers from outside the company will begin arriving today,” said Kurt Brautigam, Mississippi Power spokesman. “They will be able to help us begin restoring service to essential customers such as hospitals and public safety agencies. We’ll also have tree-trimming crews arriving to begin making way for the main rebuilding process.

“We urge the public to be cautious and safe around all power lines,” Brautigam said. “Please be patient, knowing that this will be an extended process. In the meantime, we ask customers to call and let us know about any serious conditions or dangers.

“Mississippi Power and Southern Company employees will be doing their absolute best to restore power as quickly and safely as possible so that all of our communities can begin to return to some level of normalcy,” added Brautigam.

Mississippi Power offers these storm tips:

• Stay away from all downed lines. Warn others to do the same and contact Mississippi Power or a local law enforcement agency.

• Wait a reasonable time before calling Mississippi Power if your entire neighborhood is without power. Extra calls jam switchboards and slow repairs.

• Do not connect portable generators to your household electrical wiring. This can cause serious injury to you and to electric company employees working on the lines in your neighborhood. Connect only essential appliances – such as freezers and refrigerators – directly to the generator.

• If there is damage to your meter box or the pole on top of your meter box, you must first have an electrician make repairs before Mississippi Power can restore your service.

• If there is flooding in your home or business, Mississippi Power may be unable to restore electric service until the building is inspected by city or county code officials.

• Please be patient. Crews restoring service will work as fast as safety allows. Before neighborhood lines can be restored, Mississippi Power crews must first repair substations and larger lines that bring power to neighborhoods.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, serves 195,000 customers in 23 Southeast Mississippi counties.

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. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index six years in a row. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States.