The key to restoring power after a storm is preparation, a lesson learned and sharpened through the many storms Mississippi Power has weathered.
Each spring, well before hurricane season, storm plans are put in motion. Key materials like poles, transformers and wire are loaded on tractor-trailers and placed strategically throughout the service area. Key suppliers also increase plant inventory and earmark it for quick deployment of Mississippi Power's potential needs. In 2005, like each year, every employee was assigned a storm duty station by June 1.Watch the path of Katrina at the National Weather Service archive.
Katrina was a minimal Category 1 hurricane before she hit Florida on Thursday, August 25, and just a tropical storm as she entered the Gulf of Mexico when the Mississippi Power storm team shifted into full response mode. As Katrina quickly regained hurricane strength and began moving toward the northern Gulf Coast, preparations intensified. Fuel was purchased, suppliers put on notice, and buildings and staging areas were secured. The team knew Katrina was making its way to South Mississippi and encouraged employees and customers to brace themselves. As Katrina approached landfall, Mississippi Power employees manned their storm stations and hunkered down for what was to come.
Mississippi Power's fleet of 600 trucks would expand to a fleet of 5,000 trucks, operating out of more than 30 sites to respond to Katrina's devastation. The first arrivals were strategically placed so they could report for duty as soon as the winds died down.