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Alabama Power works to restore power amid areas devastated by tornadoes

Amid widespread tornado devastation across the state, Alabama Power employees worked around the clock Thursday and into Friday to safely restore power to homes and businesses. Power is expected to be back on today for all but the most hard-hit areas.

About 100,000 customers were left without electricity following the daylong storms on Thursday that caused at least seven deaths and left hundreds of people without homes and workplaces. Alabama Power workers were joined by about 500 workers from five states in restoring power to 83,650 customers by 8 a.m. Friday.

“Alabama Power crews continue working to restore service to areas impacted by Thursday’s storms,” said Alabama Power Storm Center Operations Manager Corey Sweeney. “We expect to have service restored to 99% of affected customers who are able to receive service by the end of the day except for the hard-hit areas of Selma, Lake Martin, Alex City and Dadeville. Restoration in these areas may take multiple days due to the extent of storm devastation. As other locations are restored, we will shift 100% of our resources to serve these hardest hit areas.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey toured Selma and Autauga County sites Friday afternoon, surveying damage from a helicopter before landing to talk to residents affected by the storms.

On Thursday, Ivey issued a state of emergency for Autauga, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore and Tallapoosa counties, noting the significant damage caused by tornadoes, straight-line winds, lightning and hail. Ivey activated the Alabama National Guard and state agencies to aid in the recovery.

The National Weather Service dispatched survey teams across the state Friday to affected areas including Selma, Dallas County and adjacent Autauga County, as well as Sumter, Greene, Hale and Winston counties. The agency said in a news release that “due to the widespread extent and severity of damage in some cases, it will take several days for all damage assessment to be completed.”

Alabama Power’s Southern Division Area Manager Mike Jordan said damage to electric infrastructure in Selma is severe, with employees working to replace many broken power poles, damaged transformers and fallen lines. Senior Vice President of Power Delivery Scott Moore, Selma Manager of Community Relations Aubrey Carter, Jordan and others huddled Friday morning in Selma discussing plans to restore power to all homes and businesses that can receive it.

“Our crews did an outstanding job working throughout the night,” Carter said. “A lot of people are trying to put their lives back together today and we’re doing all we can to help them.”

Carter said city crews and citizens are working in the same areas as Alabama Power employees and out-of-state electric workers, trying to clear streets of fallen trees, roofing and other debris from the tornado. He applauded their efforts but urged members of the community to “use extreme caution” and maintain a safe distance from Alabama Power crews, “especially in critical areas” of Selma.

A portion of Alabama Highway 22 in Selma will be closed through the weekend while utilities are restored and cleanup is completed, said Brantley Kirk of the Alabama Department of Transportation. The limits of the closure are just east of the Highway 219 intersection of Landline Road and West Dallas Avenue to Broad Street. Kirk said the road will be open to residents along Dallas Avenue with a signed detour using Highway 219 for through traffic.

“ALDOT crews continue to assess roadways and assist as needed,” Kirk said. “Motorists are encouraged to download the ALGO Traffic app on their smartphone device or visit for updated road closures.”

Community assistance groups across Alabama are helping victims of the storms. United Way of Central Alabama has launched a support site and is among groups asking the public to join recovery efforts.

“UWCA will raise the funds and then send a check to United Way of Selma and Dallas County at the end of the campaign (3/12/2023),” the Birmingham organization posted. “Your gift will help support both immediate needs and long-term recovery efforts in Dallas County. If you would like to give, please go to []. Also, if you are active on social media, please spread the word and use the hashtag #UnitedForSelma.”