Blackout leaves

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 23, 2006

customers in the dark

Wednesday night's unexpected blackout had many people up in arms with Alabama Power.

Although the power outage was scheduled, customers in the affected area were not notified by mail out as intended by the company. Even the Greenville Police Department nor the city knew about the blackout.

We can't fault Alabama Power for conducting routine maintenance and we realize that power outages - scheduled or otherwise - are a part of living in the 21st century. Electricity is the undercurrent that provides such convenience in our lives.

Still, it would have been nice to know.

Customers were not notified because of a clerical error. A notification was sent to Birmingham. Someone received that notification and prepared post cards to mail out to Greenville residents. The post cards were taken to the mailroom where they apparently were set aside or misplaced, thus leaving Alabama Power customers in the downtown area unprepared for the coming blackout.

By some accounts this is isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. In August, power was cut without notification in the early morning hours prior to the first day of school.

We hope Alabama Power will take steps to correct this problem and see that future planned power outages involve notifying those who will be affected by the blackout.

Being in the dark is not the problem. Being kept in the dark is.