Escambia County Town Remains In Dark But No Complaints Against Power Companies - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

July 12, 2005

Escambia County Town Remains In Dark But No Complaints Against Power Companies

Restoring power would be the 'perfect medicine' for a downtown drugstore in Atmore that's trying to conduct business in the dark. Instead a fan is doing what it can to cool things down and bookkeeper Kim Tatum uses laughter, a bit of tonic to keep things in perspective.

"All part of life, I guess. You gotta roll with the punches. We've been hit twice," says Tatum with a little hysterical laughter.

Hit twice in almost a year. Alabama Power and Southern Pine Rural Electric say they're doing the best they can, both companies committing hundreds of linemen to restore the juice. With a population of more than 7,000, 6,000 or so still don't have electricity.

"They're facing huge challenges," says Atmore Mayor Howard Shell.

So far so good, no complaints at city hall. Still, the mayor knows the patience of the people will snap like a pine if they find themselves in the same situation by this time next week.

"If we go 3 or 4 more days like this, people will start hurting," says Mayor Shell.

10 months ago Hurricane Ivan left Atmore residents in the dark for 3 weeks. It's only been 2 days with Hurricane Dennis. But there is one fundamental difference. Hurricane Ivan struck last fall. The weather was a little cooler then. Today, it's hot and steamy.

Tatum has learned to keep her cool, despite a sweltering 88 degrees on the thermostat inside the store. It's not a comfortable position to be in when you're powerless. But Atmore will just remember how it got through Ivan.. sweating it out with a smile.

The power companies say most, if not all the residents in Atmore, should have their electricity restored by Thursday.

Reporter: Bryan Henry

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