Weather

More than 32,000 power customers on the Mississippi Coast have no service

A Pike power company lineman prepares to work at restoring power to the Long Beach Harbor on Sunday after Hurricane Nate.
A Pike power company lineman prepares to work at restoring power to the Long Beach Harbor on Sunday after Hurricane Nate. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Damage assessments Sunday more show more than 32,000 power customers on the Mississippi Coast have no service.

Power company spokespersons say more linemen are heading to the three coastal counties to help restore power to those who lost service due to Hurricane Nate, which made landfall about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in east Gulfport.

Spokespersons for Mississippi Power Co., Singing River and Coast Electric power associations say the extra help will speed up the process. Linemen have been out since before daybreak while Nate has crossed the Mobile Bay and appears to be heading north.

Around 20,000 power meters were out of service for Singing River customers by about 9 a.m., which largely includes Jackson County residents, spokeswoman Lorri Freeman said.

“We don’t have an estimated time of restoration,” Freeman said.

“When you have this type of hurricane and significant loss of power, it’s going to take time to restore service.”

Singing River had its crews on the ground by about 6 a.m. Some 250-plus linemen from other states are on route to help.

“The arrival of more linemen is going to triple our efforts, which will absolutely expedite restoration,” Freeman said.

A little less than 8,500 Mississippi Power customers have no service as of about 9 a.m. Sunday. That includes about 3,400 customers in Ocean Springs and about 1,800 in Harrison and Jackson counties, spokesman Jeff Shephard said.

“We hope to get customers that can receive power back in service by the end of the day,” Shephard said. Homes and businesses that have damages that prevent them from receiving power will have to wait until they make their repairs, he said.

Linemen have restored service to about 3,000 customers since mid-afternoon Saturday, when rain bands began to drench parts of Harrison and Hancock counties as Hurricane Nate moved quickly toward the coastal counties’ beachfronts, bays and bayous, throwing water onto land and over highways.

“At 30 to 35 mph winds, we have to come down out of the bucket trucks,” Shepherd said.

Nate had winds of up to 55 miles per hour and hurricane-force gusts around 8 p.m. Saturday.

Mississippi Power customers can go online to view the outage map to monitor progress, learn the cause of their outage and see an estimated response time, Shephard 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.

Coast Electric had 3,870 customers with no power Sunday morning.

The majority of Coast Electric’s outages are in Harrison County, spokeswoman April Lollar said.

The larger outages are in Biloxi and D’Iberville around Popp’s Ferry, Brody and Cedar Lake roads.

“The scattered outages may take longer to restore,” Lollar said.

“In the larger areas, once crews find the problem it is usually a quick fix,” she said.

Crews rolled out at 6 a.m. Sunday and “had close to 9,000 meters restored quickly,” Lollar said.

“We have no estimated time right now for restoration, but are hoping for the end of the day.”

SunHerald.com will update this report.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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