Thousands still without power in North Mississippi

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 6:35 PM CST

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. (WMC) - The Holly Springs Utility Department (HSUD) coverage area continues to suffer from last week’s ice storm, but significant progress has been made.

Since the arrival of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) just before the start of the weekend, resources from across North Mississippi have poured into the service area.

“We’ve been able to bring in 185 personnel. That’s roughly about 10 crews working across the whole HSUD area,” said Malary White with MEMA.

White says 75% of HSUD’s coverage area is back online, as of Monday evening.

HSUD has 12,000 customers across most of Marshall County, Benton County, and a small sliver of Fayette County, TN.

That 25% however, means there are still 3,000 customers still in the dark.

MEMA has set up a call center for customers to call and report their outage because this particular coverage area doesn’t have the capability to accurately report total outage numbers.

The call center is also for people to report reimbursement claims like SNAP benefits or medical supplies, and representatives will direct callers to the appropriate office.

“We had to put organized chaos together,” White said. “We formed a plan for (HSUD). Let’s identify the target areas, the areas that are in the most need of power restoration.”

A quarter of the personnel out in the coverage area were from neighboring Northcentral Electric.

GM and CEO Kevin Doddridge said the coordination with the other companies has been fast.

“We’ll be talking about this a long time, all of the systems throughout North Mississippi to come to this area and make sure we get what possibly could have been weeks of restoration during several days,” Doddridge said.

The people in that 25% are beyond tired of this situation, and in some cases, it’s becoming life-threatening.

“We haven’t seen anything, not one thing,” said Mia Carter.

Carter’s husband recently suffered a stroke and needs his medical equipment, which is powered by electricity.

The medication her husband takes needs to be refrigerated.

They’ve lost the medicine and Carter is losing her patience.

“If he misses anything (medical-wise) in a day, I’ll lose him,” Carter said. “If my husband loses his life over lack of medical equipment and medication, everything we’ve lost in our home due to this, who’s going to replace that? Can HSUD replace my husband?”

Carter is but one representative of those going on a week without power.

White said MEMA will not be leaving until everyone is brought back online.

She wouldn’t commit to a timeframe, but the hope is a matter of days instead of what could have been weeks.

The MEMA call center number is 1-833-591-6362.

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