Thousands lose power in storms

Published 8:21 pm Monday, May 4, 2009

Several thousand customers lost power in Sunday’s thunderstorms, but most were restored by Monday morning, according to reports.

Central Alabama Electric Coop (CAEC) reported an estimated 9,000 outages across its service territory, with half of those occurring in Chilton County.

Straight-line winds caused 11 broken power poles in the county, but crews had power restored to the majority of customers by 8 p.m. Sunday, with work continuing throughout the night.

Alabama Power reported 32,000 outages in its Southern Division, which runs from Opelika and Auburn over to Montgomery and Selma. Approximately 2,200 outages occurred in Clanton, and all but about 240 were restored by 7 a.m. Monday.

“We are having a little bit of a mop-up today,” Alabama Power spokesperson Michael Sznajderman said Monday. “People who were out of town over the weekend just came in and realized their power was out.”

Crews worked around the clock to repair the damaged poles and downed lines. Most of the damage was attributed to loose tree limbs and uprooted trees.

“Wind is a much bigger issue for us than rain, per se,” Sznajderman explained. “Except when the ground is saturated, old trees are more likely to come up.”

Additional outages occurred from storms that hit the CAEC service area at 4 a.m. Monday, but by 10 a.m. all electrical service had been restored, a company press release stated.