BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Power crews are preparing to assist communities in the path of Hurricane Laura, a massive and dangerous storm that was barreling Wednesday evening toward the Texas-Louisiana border.
About 350 Alabama Power team members from across the state, including line crews and support personnel, were packing Wednesday afternoon in preparation for traveling west to support utilities in Louisiana and Texas. The company also released contract crews to assist.
“We are fortunate to be able to provide resources to help others, considering the potential impact this very dangerous storm could have on a very large area,” Kristie Barton, a general manager in the company’s Power Delivery organization, said.
Hurricane Laura strengthened Wednesday into “an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane,” The National Hurricane Center said. Forecasters warn of “catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding” and 20 feet (6 meters) of storm surge.
Alabama Power crews recently assisted communities in New Jersey following Tropical Storm Isaias and towns in Illinois, including Chicago, affected by a damaging derecho wind event. The company provides resources to other investor-owned utilities, when they are not needed at home, under longstanding mutual assistance agreements.