Crews work to restore power following Sunday storms

Published 7:42 am Thursday, April 16, 2020

Storms tore through the South Sunday night, leaving wide swaths of the state without power for most of the night and into the following morning.

According to an Alabama Power statement released at 8 p.m. Sunday, roughly 47,000 customers were without power across the state when the storms first touched down – 1,400 customers in Central Alabama were without power, including 380 in Dallas County, 290 in Wilcox County and 170 each in Montgomery and Lowndes counties.

Alabama Power’s statement noted that fewer, widely scattered outages were experienced by residents in Autauga, Perry, Elmore and Chilton counties.

Two hours later, the storms had wreaked more havoc and roughly 80,000 Alabama Power customers statewide were without power, including 4,500 in Central Alabama – Montgomery County had the highest rate of outages, with 2,450 customers going dark, while 500 customers in Lowndes County were without power, along with 200 in Dallas County.

Lee, Chilton, Wilcox, Autauga and Perry counties each had less than 200 outages, while scattered outages were being seen in Elmore and Tallapoosa counties.

Around midnight, the problem had grown and roughly 125,000 customers statewide were without power, including 36,500 in Central Alabama – a statement from Alabama Power said outages were “widespread” across the region and crews were busy making damage assessments and restoring power in areas safe for work.

As Sunday turned to Monday, Dallas County was still experiencing roughly 230 outages across the area, while Montgomery County had 20,400 Alabama Power customers without power – Lee County had nearly 5,000 outages, Elmore County had 3,500 outages and Autauga County had 2,000 customers.

Elsewhere across the region, 1,300 customers were without power in Tallapoosa County, 1,000 were without power in Butler County, while Wilcox, Bullock, Lowndes, Chilton and Perry counties were each experiencing less that 1,000 outages.

Just before sunrise, at 5 a.m., Alabama Power was reporting that 132,000 customers across the state were still without power, 37,400 of which were in Central Alabama – Montgomery County was still experiencing widespread outages, with about 21,300 customers going without power, an increase over the 20,400 reported around midnight.

Power outages had increased by morning, with Lee County experiencing around 7,800 outages, an increase of 2,800 over the midnight report, and Elmore County experiencing around 3,500 outages, no change from the midnight report.

Elsewhere in the state, Tallapoosa County was reporting around 2,000 outages, double its midnight rate, and Lowndes County was reporting 1,500 outages – Autauga, Wilcox, Dallas, Chilton, Perry, Butler and Bullock counties were all experiencing less than 1,000 outages, though Dallas County’s morning rate of 550 customers was slightly more than the 230 reported at midnight.

By 8 a.m., the company had made some headway, reporting 112,000 outages across the state – a decrease of roughly 20,000 over the 5 a.m. number – including 32,900 in Central Alabama.

“Restoration work is ongoing and service has been restored to approximately 4,000 customers in Central Alabama within the past couple of hours,” an 8 a.m. statement from Alabama Power said. “High winds resulted in broken power poles and downed wire as a result of fallen trees and limbs. Damage assessments will continue this morning.”

As of the 8 a.m. report, 20,700 customers were still without power in Montgomery County, as were 5,700 in Lee County, 2,100 in Elmore County, 1,500 in Lowndes County and 1,400 in Tallapoosa County.

Elsewhere, Dallas County was still experiencing 540 outages, a decrease of only 10 over the numbers shared in the 5 a.m. report, while Autauga and Wilcox counties were still reporting 800 and 700 outages respectively, no change over the 5 a.m. numbers, while Perry, Butler and Bullock counties were all experiencing less that 300 outages.

As of 10 a.m., Alabama Power was reporting that 90,000 customers statewide were still without power, representing a drop of more than 20,000 over the 8 a.m. report, including roughly 23,100 in Central Alabama, with Montgomery still experiencing the highest rate of outages with 16,000.

“Progress is being made as power has been restored to more than 9,000 customers since 8 a.m. this morning,” the 10 a.m. report stated. “Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service to all customers. Damage reports include broken and poles and downed wire as a result of fallen trees.”

Dallas County was still reporting 200 outages as of 10 a.m. – Lee County still had 4,800 outages, Tallapoosa County had 1,000 outages and Autauga, Bullock, Elmore, Chilton, Lowndes, Wilcox, Perry and Butler counties all had less than 1,000 outages each.

By 2 p.m., there were no reported outages in Dallas County, though Alabama Power was still working to restore service to more than 11,000 customers statewide.