Power outages hamper county

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

It didn't take long for Hurricane Ivan's violent winds to knock out most of the power throughout Alabama.

Some residents in Crenshaw County were fortunate not to lose power until the early hours of the morning last Thursday.

Luverne Power, a branch of the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority, made all the necessary arrangements prior to the storm to make sure work on downed power lines could start immediately. Crewmen reported to work at 10 p.m. the night of the storm to prevent travel problems.

"We had one feeder that went out some time after midnight and they went out and worked for about three hours and got it back on," Luverne City Engineer Morris Tate explained. "Then as the winds got worse, that feeder went out again and by 7 a.m. we lost all the feeders, the entire town was down except for the portion of one feeder. The men stayed at the plant until around 10:30 am. and then they went out and surveyed the damage to try to implement the plans that were made prior to the storm."

Luverne workers continued to work throughout the weekend and this week to ensure power was restored. Morris said he believes everyone should be back up and running.

"As of Wednesday morning to the best of our knowledge everyone has power restored in the city limits of Luverne and in Rutledge," Tate said. "All of our crews worked 14 hours a day, each day from the time they reported prior to the storm until Wednesday morning. They did an excellent job. We would put them second to none."

Crenshaw County Emergency Management Authority Director Anita West said the damage was hit and miss throughout the county. She said most power has been restored, but some residents in rural areas are still in the dark.

"A lot of the rural county is still out," West said.

West said some areas in Highland Home and on the Pike County side of Crenshaw County are out of power.

Every resident in the Town of Brantley also suffered power outages, but it was restored within a couple of days.

"We were able to get the power back on in most of the city in less than 48 hours," Town Administrator Larry Morgan said.

Not only does power outages leave people in the dark, but they also cause refrigerated food to spoil, which can cause some to go hungry. West said those individuals on fixed incomes or those that can't afford to replace food immediately should contact the Federal Emergency Management Authority at 1-800-621-FEMA for assistance.