Power companies are making progress in restoring power to the more than 32,000 customers in South Mississippi who lost electricity during Hurricane Nate, but in Jackson County, there are still thousands of customers without power.
Singing River Electric reported Sunday evening that 15,158 power meters were still out of service, which largely includes Jackson County residents. That number in Jackson County was down to 12,731 by Sunday afternoon, according to spokeswoman Lorri Freeman.
“More crews have arrived and we are putting them to work as fast as we can,” she said. “We plan to have a long work day.”
Sunday morning, Singing River had 32,950 customers without service.
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The majority of customers without power are in the northeast quadrant of Hurricane Nate’s path, and there are several fallen trees and downed power lines, Freeman said.
“We’ve been making good progress,” she said, “but it’s going to take some time.”
As crews finish work in George County, another part of Singing River’s service area, they will be reassigned to Jackson County customers.
Mississippi Power Co. and Coast Electric representatives said they hope to have power restored by the end of the day Sunday to all who can receive power.
Mississippi Power Co. spokesman Jeff Shepard reported Sunday that as of 11:30 a.m., power was restored to more than 10,000 customers. About 4,800 customers were still without service.
Service was expected to be restored to customers in Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian by 1 p.m.; Poplarville by 3 p.m.; Gulfport, Long Beach and Lucedale by 5 p.m.; and Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Moss Point, Biloxi and D’Iberville by 8 p.m.
“We hope to get customers that can receive power back in service by the end of the day,” Shepard said. Homes and businesses that have damages that prevent them from receiving power will have to wait until they make their repairs, he said.
The power company has about 1,300 people working on storm restoration, he said. That includes its 300 line crew workers, logistics personnel, power company employees, and about 1,000 extra linemen who have mostly come in from Georgia Power, he said.
Mississippi Power urges customers to avoid downed power lines. Customers should report downed lines immediately to Mississippi Power at 1-800-532-1502.
Coast Electric spokeswoman April Lollar said Sunday that service has been restored to all but two customers in Hancock County that are not accessible because of flooded roads. Initially, it had about 9,000 without service from Hurricane Nate.
She said that if anyone who evacuated comes home to discover they do not have service, they should call 877-769-2372.
“Thankfully, the crews were able to get out this morning, and get to some of the larger areas ... and restore folks really quickly,” Lollar said. “We’re hoping to have everyone restored by the end of the day, depending on the damages.”
The worst-hit areas in Coast Electric’s service area was the eastern part of Harrison County, she said.
Staff writer Robin Fitzgerald contributed to this report.