Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

    Alabama Power continuing to restore electricity

    In effort to restore service to areas devastated by Wednesday’s powerful storm, Alabama Power Company and providers of other utilities worked through the night on Thursday to repair badly damaged infrastructure.

    “Statewide, 212,142 Alabama Power customers are still without electricity,” said Fredey Padilla, director of external affairs for the Western Division of Alabama Power. “But we’re making improvements.”

    Although many Alabama residents are still without power, repair crews have succeeded in restoring power to approximately 50,000 customers in the last 24 hours.

    “The bulk of our repair crew is in the western division of our service area and continues to work to restore power,” he said.

    Thousands of Tuscaloosa residents in affected areas surrounding Tuscaloosa had their power restored overnight.  Still, he acknowledged that crews still have a long way to go.

    “In the Tuscaloosa area, approximately 30,144 residents are still without power,” Padilla said.  “Our crews are working around the clock to restore service.

    Repairs crews are faced with the task of removing old power lines and poles and then virtually building a new electrical grid from scratch.

    “Restoring power to an area that has been damaged as bad as the Tuscaloosa area is very difficult,” he said.  “Normally, when a storm comes through, you have to replace a power pole or power lines.  But with a storm this size, you have to rebuild everything all the way back to the substation.”

    The president and CEO of Alabama Power, Charles McCrary, said in a press conference on Thursday that 95 percent of customers were expected to have their power restored by Wednesday, Padilla said.

    Water service to Tuscaloosa residents was operational as of Friday evening, but city and University officials were urging customers to take extra precautions.

    “As a result of storm damage to water distribution infrastructure in east Tuscaloosa, water pressure has been reduced to a level below that which is required to assure water quality,” according to a statement from University Relations.  “For this reason, the City of Tuscaloosa is asking all residents who live east of McFarland Boulevard and south of the Black Warrior River to boil water before its use.”

    According to the parameters set by the City of Tuscaloosa, water on campus should be safe to drink. The Bluff, Campus Way Apartments, and the Retreat are large student housing complexes east of McFarland. Students in these areas should be aware of the city’s sanctions regarding water.

    Telephone and Internet provider AT&T is also working to restore service to their customers in Tuscaloosa.

    “We are working 24/7 to restore service,” said Hood Harris, spokesperson for AT&T public affairs. “I can tell you that we are making progress in Tuscaloosa and further assets are coming in from our National Disaster Recovery Team.”

    Hazards involved with the affected areas have prevented AT&T from being able to restore service to many areas damaged by the storm.

    “There are a lot of live power lines that are down in the affected areas and we have to wait for the electric company to do their job before we can go in there,” Harris said.

    The extent of the damage to the telephone and internet infrastructure is currently unknown because repair crews have been unable to get into many of the devastated areas.

    “We hope to know more later today after we have conducted more tests,” he said.

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