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Power restoration continues after Zeta but thousands still in the dark

Montgomery-Selma  WSFA logo Montgomery-Selma WSFA 10/31/2020 WSFA Staff

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Thousands of Alabamian remain without power more than a day after Hurricane Zeta swept across the state.

“Power outages caused by winds overnight are widespread," said Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings. “Crews are still working to gain entry into some areas blocked by downed trees and power lines, especially in the rural portions of southwest Alabama that are most heavily affected by this storm.”

POWER OUTAGES

Alabama Power (As of 8 a.m. Sunday), 93,500 customers are without service, with 35,000 outages in east Alabama and 26,000 in south Alabama.

The company expects to have service restored to 95% of affected customers by Tuesday.

Alabama Power said more than 1,700 line workers and support personnel from 19 states and Canada are joining the effort to restore service to customers.

Extensive damage remains with hundreds of fallen trees, numerous broken power poles and multiple spans of downed wire still to be repaired in what will be a multi-day restoration event.

Alabama Power says it understands customers are frustrated about outages and said call volumes remain “extraordinarily high” and are “resulting in some extended wait times.” You can report a system out to AlabamaPower.com. Alabama Power said it’s working as quickly as possible to restore services.

Rural electric cooperatives (As of 8 a.m. Friday) Approximately 68,996 are still without service including:

  • Central Alabama EC: 24,180
  • Clark Washington EMC: 17,436
  • Coosa Valley EC: 8,471
  • Black Warrior EMC: 6,670
  • Pioneer EC: 6,519
  • Baldwin EMC: 3,037
  • Southern Pine EC: 2,683

The Alabama Rural Electric Association, or AREA, is coordinating a large mutual aid effort with crews from unaffected co-ops and from other states to help restore service. AREA said damage is more severe in some areas, such as with CAEC, headquartered in Prattville. It suffered extensive damage to its system and restoration will take multiple days.

The Alabama EMA, along with multiple state and local agencies, are responding to areas across the state impacted by the storm.

[Latest information on Hurricane Zeta]

Local first responders, utilities, and public works crews are working to clear roadways of debris and downed power lines caused by Zeta, and to perform search and rescue missions.

At least one death has been confirmed in the state. A person in Clarke County died after a tree fell onto their home as the storm swept across the rural southwestern county.

“Folks are without power, and trees are down all across Alabama," Gov. Kay Ivey said Thursday morning as the sun rose over the damage. "Let’s give the utility workers and first responders patience and space to do their work.”

Hastings said the state EMA will be supporting local communities in the days and weeks to come “to ensure any needs and shortfalls are met.” He added that FEMA teams were on the ground before the storm made landfall and that Alabama will quickly request any available federal help as it assesses the damage.

[You can submit photos and videos of storm damage here.]

PHOTO SLIDESHOW

Hurricane Zeta caused damage and impacted roads in central Alabama.

Hurricane Zeta caused damage and impacted roads in central Alabama.
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