Pine Belt-area electric groups head to FloridaBy STAFF REPORTS,
Ten employees from Dixie Electric Power Association left Oct. 15, traveling to West Florida Electric Cooperative to restore electric service to members who were affected by Hurricane Michael.
On Sunday afternoon, West Florida Electric reported that 22,500 of its 28,000 members were still without power. According to its Facebook page, the cooperative is estimating that restoration will take weeks due to the amount of devastation.
West Florida Electric serves members with electric power in Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties and is headquartered in Graceville, Florida.
Dixie Electric’s 10 employees, including linemen, apprentice linemen and an engineer, are joining approximately 250 other employees from 18 different electric cooperatives in Mississippi who are assisting three electric cooperatives in Florida.
Dixie Electric is part of a network of electric cooperatives from across the nation that will send line crews in the event of a major power outage.
Dixie Electric serves seven counties in south Mississippi, including Clarke, Covington, Forrest, Jasper, Jones, Perry and Wayne. The rural electric cooperative provides electric power to 39,000 homes and businesses through 4,900 miles of power line.
PRVEPA sends works crews to DeFuniak Springs
Pearl River Valley Electric sent three crews to assist in the potentially devastating aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Florida. The group is assisting Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative in DeFuniak Springs.
Fifteen PRVEPA employees, trucks and equipment left late last week, once the needs were assessed and locations prioritized.
"This mutual aid response effort is vital when any electric utility faces these kinds of circumstances," said Kurt Brautigam, manager of member services.
"We have received help from electric cooperatives in the region during our times of need and we're very happy to reciprocate."