4-County crews help restore power after ice storm leaves folks in the dark

Crews are hitting the road to help get the lights back on.

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s a phrase no one wants to hear…the power is out.

The winter storm in North Central Mississippi impacted parts of the area.

Some families prepare to spend the night without electricity.
But the impact could be a short-lived issue–crews are hitting the road to help get the lights back on.

“It’s pouring down, and temperatures are dropping,” said Clark.

The icy mix left some folks in North Central Mississippi in the dark.

But, help is on the way.

“We believe in leaning on each other in times like this,” said Brian Clark, the CEO and General Manager of 4-County Electric Power Association.

A nine-man crew is hitting the road to assist the North Central Electric Power Association.

This comes after an ice storm impacted parts of their service area.

Clark says nearly 2,800 families are without power due to iced-over poles, downed power lines, and fallen tree limbs.

“As trees weaken with a load of ice and the lines might weaken with a load of ice, therefore, the poles might break of weakening. It can be a domino effect. It can go from 2,800 people to 10,000 people quick,” said Clark.

Crew Manager Tim Adkins says his team shifted gears quickly. They loaded equipment in two bucket trucks, one digger derrick truck, and a four-wheeler to take on the icy conditions.

“We come today, we work a day like normal and do our daily job. We got the call, everybody load up and get ready to hit the road,” said Adkins.

While getting to their destination is just the first part of the assignment, restoring power in icy conditions still looms.

“The ice is a different kind of challenge in a lot of other storms. If it’s raining pretty rough, it’s tough to travel on. We have to be careful. The ground is always saturated. It’s tough getting to and from some of the poles we have to change out, and some of the poles we have to put the wire back on and climb in these situations,” said Adkins.

There are 25 electric cooperatives in Mississippi.

Representatives tell WCBI rural cooperatives throughout the nation share a reciprocal agreement to provide help to sister cooperatives in times of crisis.

“When straight-line winds on February 16, 2001, hit us, we had a lot of damage. We had to lean on our sisters to come to help us,” said Clark.

4-County crews are expected to work in the North Central area for three days.

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