Winter weather slams South; 500k without power

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2014

While Pike County was spared from the severe winter weather hammering the Southeast, not every locale in the region was spared.

Winter Storm Pax slammed in to the region, dropping more than two inches of ice and snow in the greater Atlanta area and knocking out electricity for more than a half-million homes and businesses in the area.

So far, there have been reports of more than 10 deaths from the wintry weather and more than 3,300 flights have been canceled nationwide.

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In order to help combat the elements, the South Alabama Electric Cooperative has sent a number of crews to help Diverse Power in LaGrange, Ga. Diverse Power provides electric power to Troup, Harris, Heard, Meriwether, Muscogee and Coweta counties in Ga. and Chambers County in Alabama.

The following crew members have been selected to aid the company: Terry Rodgers, construction foreman; Regal Hamm, Class A Lineman; Tony Greer, service foreman; Jay Adair, Class A Lineman; Darrell Foster, Class A Lineman; Russell Oakes, Class B Lineman.

While the SAEC was keeping an eye on conditions in Pike County, the cooperative determined there resources could be best spent in helping a neighbor in need.

Max Davis, general manager of SAEC, praised his linemen for going above and beyond the call of duty “We’re proud of our linemen,” Davis said. “They are always willing to step up and assist other cooperatives when storms like this come along.”

Storms like Winter Storm Pax are so devastating to the power grid because the freezing wintry mix that they drop over communities freezes to trees and power lines. The weight of the lines and branches increases as they are covered in ice, and, when the ice becomes too heavy, the power lines and branches fall, knocking out sections of the power grid.

In Georgia, more than 200,000 residents are without power, in South Carolina, 245,000, in North Carolina, 100,000.

President Obama has declared areas of Georgia and South Carolina as disaster areas. This opens the areas up to federal funding to aid in rebuilding after the storm.

Winter Storm Pax hits the region less than two weeks after Winter Storm Leon. Winter Storm Leon also dropped around two inches of snow and ice over the Southeast. When Leon hit, the city of Atlanta came to a stand still as traffic clogged the major roadways leading out of the city and in to the suburbs. Motorists reported being trapped in their cars for more than eight hours.