Convoy of power trucks head for Louisiana
HURRICANE RELIEF – Dominion Virginia Power trucks convoy through Meridian on their way to assist utility companies in Louisiana. Hurricane Lili made landfall Thursday along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, knocking out power lines and cutting off service to thousands of customers. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Oct. 4, 2002
A convoy of utility trucks from as far away as Virginia moved south through Meridian's Interstate 20/59 corridor on Thursday en route to repair power lines Hurricane Lili downed along the Gulf Coast.
Thousands of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas residents were left without power when Lili slammed into Louisiana just south of Lafayette. The storm spread heavy rains and high winds over the three-state area.
Last week, Pollard said, Tropical Storm Isidore left 94,000 customers without power. Isidore brought heavy rains and flooding, she said, while Lili brought heavy winds that knocked down power lines.
Through a mutual aid pact, Entergy has pulled together 14,000 electricians, linesman, tree trimmers and other electrical support staff from throughout the southeast to expedite power restoration, Pollard said.
In Meridian, Lauderdale County and other parts of East Mississippi, Lili brought periods of heavy rains and gusty winds Thursday but nothing like the rains that accompanied Isidore.
Dave Biggar, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Jackson, said Lili moved north along the eastern edge of Louisiana placing Meridian under a tornado and flash flood watch Thursday.
He said Meridian can expect an 80 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms through today, and temperatures in the mid-80s and sunny skies by Saturday.
While Meridian had no power outages on Thursday, that wasn't the case on the Mississippi Coast. Mississippi Power Co. spokesman Kurt Brautigam said his company had about 4,000 scattered outages.
Brautigam said Mississippi Power will send 60 of its workers to Louisiana today joining thousands of other workers from other states.
Power company employees working in regions outside their own are paid through recovery mechanisms monies built into consumer rates by regulatory commissions for disaster purposes.
PIKE, a North Carolina-based power-line contractor, has 1,000 employees cleaning up Lili's damage, said spokesman Zack Blackman.
Chuck Penn, manager of media and community relations for Dominion Virginia Power, said Dominion deployed more than 100 people and 40 bucket trucks in a convoy that left Virginia on Tuesday morning bound for Slidell, La.