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Alabama Power traveling to support Nicholas victims in Texas

Alabama Power crews and support teams are headed to Texas to help support restoration of electric service in that state following Hurricane Nicholas.

About 150 Alabama Power line personnel plus support staff left for Houston early Wednesday from multiple locations across the state. They are expected to begin supporting CenterPoint Energy as early as Thursday morning. Joining the Alabama Power teams are about 150 contract crews.

About 300,000 CenterPoint customers lost power because of Nicholas, which made landfall as a hurricane early Tuesday along the Texas coast. As of Wednesday afternoon, what’s left of the storm – now a tropical depression – was stalled over southern Louisiana, delivering heavy rains to a state still mopping up from a devastating Hurricane Ida.

“We’re prepared to stay as long as it takes,” said Corey Sweeney, Alabama Power Storm Center Operations manager. “Through our mutual assistance agreements, we can deliver the type of service our customers know and trust to those in need following severe weather. We take pride in supporting our fellow utilities.”

Alabama Power’s storm team is assisting CenterPoint Energy in Houston with restoration following Hurricane Nicholas. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)

Through mutual-assistance agreements, investor-owned utilities can provide support to each other in times of major disasters. Alabama Power has a long history of supporting utilities, some as far away as Chicago and New York City, when severe weather results in significant outages. The experience Alabama Power crews have gained by restoring power quickly and safely following a wide variety of severe weather, from hurricanes to ice storms to tornadoes, has made the company a go-to source for assistance by other utilities.

“We’re always glad to help when we need to help,” said Adam Swafford, an Alabama Power engineering supervisor based in Pelham. Swafford was among the storm team members traveling Wednesday to Texas.

“It’s always an honor to help – to help get a sense of normalcy back for the customers,” Swafford said.

The 14th named storm of the 2021 hurricane season, Nicholas dumped almost 14 inches of rain on Galveston, Texas, as it turned to the east toward Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The remnants of the storm are expected bring rain showers to southern and central Alabama through tomorrow. Flash flood watches are in effect for coastal Alabama counties.

Alabama Power customers should always be aware and prepared for the possibility of severe weather. Learn more about what to do before the storm hits, and how to stay safe during bad weather and after the storm passes, by visiting Alabama Power’s Storm Center.