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Area outages leave some without power

Quite a few Lincoln County residents got to feel the frigidtemperatures up close and personal after power failed forweather-related reasons Monday, officials said.

Entergy customers west of Interstate 55 woke up in the coldTuesday morning, officials said, and some went to sleep in the darkand cold as well.

Entergy Customer Accounts Manager Kenny Goza said the problemsbegan about 6 p.m. Monday when about 75 customers lost power whenlines became overloaded. Crews worked to restore energy to thehomes that had lost it, and power went out again for another 290customers Tuesday around 6 a.m.

“A wire burnt down, and that’s definitely because of load,” Gozasaid. “We got it back on and tried to get everyone back to normal,but what’s happening is that it’s overloading the device to whereit kicks out because of everyone turning the heat on.”

Goza said in all about 350 customers were affected by the poweroutages.

Power went out again later in the morning on Tuesday, Goza said,and crews were working to restore it once again. About 290customers were impacted by the latest outage.

Meanwhile, Magnolia Electric Power Company also experienced someminor problems. Magnolia Electric Member Services Director LucyShell said that while there were no major issues in Lincoln County.However, there were about 30 Magnolia members in northern PikeCounty who lost power over Monday night due to the wintryweather.

Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association reported nooutages, said Public Relations Director Azalea Knight.

But the energy companies are battening down the hatches aspredictions of a severe winter storm come in for Thursday.

“It’s like everything else, we’re as prepared as we can be, andwe’re making sure our trucks are fueled and everyone is onstandby,” Knight said. “There’s not a lot you can do until you seewhat kind of damage or if you have any.”

Knight said Southwest held a safety meeting Tuesday morning, andthat company officials plan to have materials on hand in strategicareas so workers won’t have to travel between the office and workdestinations as much if the weather hits.

“We have our emergency plan in and it’s on everyone’s desk justin case we need it,” she said.

Shell said Magnolia also has their lines drawn out in case ofemergency.

“We are ready, our trucks are ready, our crews are on alert,we’re watching the weather, and we also have contractors onstandby,” she said.

Goza said Entergy crews are also preparing, and are ready towork whether it be close to home or if they have to travelsomewhere else affected by the weather.

“We get frequent weather updates so we know what to expect, thenwe just make sure all our equipment is ready and the guys are readyto respond, whether we need to go off somewhere or whether it’shere,” Goza said. “This morning’s report says all we’re gettingThursday is very cold rain, and maybe a little snow. It’s notpredicting any major ice catastrophe, but then again, this is veryunstable weather.”