Madison County was blasted with an estimated seven inches of snow Sunday. And thousands of people remained without power in the county as of 6 p.m. Monday.
"We have been advised that repairs to downed transmission lines that knocked out power to two of the cooperatives Madison County substations are expected to be completed by 6 this evening,” said Jackson EMC spokesperson Bonnie Jones in 5:45 p.m. press release Monday. “After that, the cooperative can attempt to power the circuits from that substation and hopefully begin restoring power to the customers affected.”
Jackson EMC is continuing work to restore power in the wake of yesterday’s winter storm. Currently the cooperative has 19,397 customers still without power, including 6,922 in its Jefferson District, primarily in Jackson County, and 12,475 in its Neese District, primarily in Madison County.
“Crews have been working to replace 25 broken poles and have nearly finished work on 22,” said Jones. “In the meantime, crews are finding additional broken poles. The number of customers without power has fluctuated as crews find and report additional equipment problems, homes without power that had not previously been reported and lines that are down in more than one location. In addition, some restoration work may require working lines to be de-energized while repairs are made to broken poles.”
Madison County County 911 director David Camp said his office was flooded with calls as soon as the snow started falling early Sunday afternoon, with people reporting fallen trees, downed power lines and single vehicle accidents.
There were no reports of weather-related fatalities in the county Sunday. However, Camp said his office received a several calls from people in medical distress, such as those on oxygen support, who feared that the lack of electricity would leave them without a way to breathe.
Of course, getting to the hospital was treacherous. Camp said two ambulances had to be pulled out of ditches. One that was stuck for an extended period had a patient inside, but the person was reportedly OK.
Camp said his office received numerous calls from people complaining of the cold, wondering where they could go.
“We advised them of the dangerous road conditions and urged them to wrap up in blankets,” said Camp.
The 911 director said his office received calls about two roofs collapsing, one a barn roof, the other on a structure at Madico Park. He said there was a chicken house fire at Hwy. 172 and Holly Creek Church Road. Danielsville, Comer, Collins and Colbert Volunteer Fire Departments responded. There were also several calls of fires from downed power lines.
Camp estimated that 95 to 100 percent of Madison County was out of power at some point due to the storm. Even the 911 office was out of power. The office ran on backup generator power from about 5 p.m. Sunday to 3:30 a.m. Monday, Camp said.
Madison County schools and government offices were closed Monday. And county commissioners have postponed their scheduled meeting for this evening.
BOC Chairman Anthony Dove said he will assess the situation tomorrow, and the meeting may be schedule for later this week or early next week.
Dove said he appreciates the work that so many people put in over the night Sunday. Charles Temple and several on his road crew spent a sleepless night clearing roads. Power companies worked all night to restore services. County EMS, 911, sheriff’s office and rescue workers had a busy night.
Dove said he is particularly appreciative of the county’s volunteer firemen.
“I am just so thankful for the fire departments, those who volunteered their time away from their families who were also without power,” said Dove.
The chairman said he was pleased with the emergency response in some difficult circumstances, noting that the possibility of windy conditions could lead to more downed lines and more work from those who’ve already logged a sleepless night.
Thank you!!!!!!!I am so appreciative of the volunteer firemen/women in Madison County. They must have worked all night Sunday night. They do all of this with no pay. We are truely blessed to have them.
I Love My Firefighter!
03/04/09 at 06:20 PM
I agree with Linda...thank you to all the guys & girls who worked those long hours during this snow storm. My fiance (volunteer fireman) left Sunday afternoon to help clear the roads of trees and respond to fires and I did not see him again until Monday morning...then he was on his way out the door again. These guys & girls give all they've got, not for the money, but for the satisfaction of knowing they've helped someone! God Bless the volunteer firemen/women of Madison County!!