Hurricane Isaac knocked out power to more than 50,000 homes and businesses across the Mississippi Coast. The arrival of those out-of-town power crews is one of the first signs of hope after a disaster.
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HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
You've probably seen convoys of power trucks rolling into south Mississippi Thursday morning. Hurricane Isaac knocked out power to more than 50,000 homes and businesses across the Mississippi Coast. The arrival of those out-of-town power crews is one of the first signs of hope after a disaster.
A team of power trucks descended on a small neighborhood in Pearlington Thursday morning. Their presence was a big relief for neighbors, many who've been without power since Tuesday.
"It's wonderful," said Orealia Marshall of Pearlington. "It's so refreshing to know that they are out here working to help us get our power back together again. The street here 8th Avenue took a very bad hit as far as trees being down and power lines being down and they came right out."
Coast Electric reported more than 30,000 of its customers lost power at the height of Hurricane Isaac, mostly in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. With more than 15,000 homes and businesses still in the dark Thursday morning, the company brought in 300 extra linemen from its electric co-op.
"Our crews are also assisting crews from north Mississippi and Georgia, and extra tree trimming crews and construction crews are helping too. So we appreciate their help so much," said April Lollar, Coast Electric Spokesperson.
A fleet of reinforcements also arrived to help Mississippi Power restore service to more than 14,000 customers.
"We got more than 1,000 reinforcements here in south Mississippi, more than 600 alone from our sister company Georgia Power. It's a great effort," said Jeff Shepard, Mississippi Power Spokesman.
After a disaster like Isaac, power companies rely on their sister companies, especially crews that are trained to work in emergency response situations.
"Hurricanes, ice storms, excessive heat, things like that, these guys know how to work. They're storm tested," said Shepard. "Our customers want to get their power back on so they can get back to their normal lives, and these guys are the guys that make that happen."
Coast Electric crews will be working until 11 PM Thursday and will start again early Friday morning. Mississippi Power hopes to get all the lights back on by Friday morning.