Just under 5000 Blount County Alabama Power customers were left in the dark, some overnight, after last week’s snowstorm, according to Alabama Power office manager Kelley Stone.
The hardest hit communities included Blountsville, Snead, and Brooksville, but power outages occurred throughout the county.
“Some locations lost power late in the night on Wednesday and were without power throughout a portion of the day on Thursday,” Stone said. “Our crews were working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power. Most of our customers had power by 5 p.m. on Thursday following the storm.”
Outages affected 6000 customers in the Eastern Division of Alabama Power’s service territory – Blount, Etowah, St. Clair, Calhoun, Cleburne, Clay, Talladega, Randolph, and Tallapoosa counties – Blount was the hardest hit.
“The Blount County area simply took the worst of the storm as it made its way across the state and into Georgia,” Stone said. “Alabama Power distribution lines fared the storm pretty well, but the ice and snow on trees caused many of the outages. Tree branches became heavy with snow and ice which led to many of them breaking and falling on or into power lines creating outages.”
Additional help, including 375 line crew personnel with 170 trucks, arrived in Blount County on Monday in preparation of the impending storm, according to Stone.
“We knew if the storm hit, that it would be very difficult to get additional manpower to Blount County quickly,” Stone said. “Crews worked diligently Wednesday through Thursday until power was restored.”
Once the storm was over, Alabama Power was affected again after a transmission outage occurred. Customers lost power, some for the second time.
“The longest any of our customers were impacted by the transmission outage was a little less than nine hours,” Stone said. “Our transmission line crews worked tirelessly to sectionalize areas to restore power to as many customers as they could as quickly as they could. Transmission lines are different than the distribution lines you see near your home or in your neighborhood. They are larger lines connected to a grid throughout the United States, and this outage involved transmission lines that were not Alabama Power lines, but affected us due to the grid.”
Stone said there are no precautionary steps to prevent a power outage, but it is important for customers, their families, and businesses to have an emergency action plan in place.
“I want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding,” Stone said. “Alabama Power appreciates this community and their willingness to help during these types of events. Blount County is truly a great place to live, and the way our community works together in a crisis proves that time and time again.”