Frigid temperatures force power outages in George County

Some South Mississippi residents struggle to stay warm during forced outages

GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - The extreme winter weather this week caused power issues across the region and some people living in George County went without power for hours Tuesday night during a forced outage.

To maintain the integrity of the regional power grid, forced outages were enacted on four different substations. One of those was Singing River Electric’s substation in Benndale, which affected 1,794 electrical meters.

Cooperative Energy is Singing River Electric’s generation co-op was ordered to force the outage by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator because of an increase in energy demand caused by frigid cold.

Cooperative Energy says a couple of different factors went in to choosing to shut down the Benndale substation. One, the Benndale substation does not serve any critical services, such as a hospital or a police department. Secondly, the load matched the amount needed to be reduced for that portion of the system at that particular time.

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, the electricity went out for people like Dale Havens. Havens said he was concerned about staying warm.

“I used my phone as a light and we used the gas stove, turned all four burners on and I hung a curtain over the hallway so it wouldn’t just push it all back there into the other rooms,” said Havens. “We were out of power for like two hours. It wasn’t that bad.”

Singing River Electric does not recommend using a gas stove as a heat source, but there are some other options that will also help conserve energy:

  • Close curtains and blinds to shield the cold from inside your home.
  • Layer blankets on beds while you sleep.
  • Dress for the cold even while indoors.

This was the first time a forced outage like this has happened in the 80 year co-op between Singing River Electric and Cooperative Energy.

Copyright 2021 WLOX. All rights reserved.