Hillside neighborhood across from Wind Creek Casino

Tropical Storm Zeta quickly ripped through Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s (CAEC’s) service area early Thursday morning leaving more than 36,550 members without power at its peak across the cooperative’s 10-county service territory.

More than 100 employees are working to restore power with assistance from Joe Wheeler Electric Cooperative and numerous contract crews with more help on the way.

Most outages were due to fallen trees, broken poles and downed lines, which were caused by Zeta’s violent winds registering over 60 mph. Due to the widespread nature of the damage, impacting approximately three-quarters of the co-op’s 44,000 meters, restoration efforts are expected to take several days.

The co-op urges those with medical conditions, or medical devices that require electricity for operation, to plan accordingly for extended power outages lasting several days. Additionally, those who use generators are urged to follow generator safety rules, which can be found at www.caec.coop/tips/generator-safety, for their own well-being as well as that of line workers restoring power.

“Our crews are working extended hours to restore power to all of those affected by Tropical Storm Zeta,” said CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse. “We haven’t seen an outage event of this scale since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and we appreciate our members for their understanding and patience during this extreme weather event.”

At 2 p.m. on Thursday, the county by county breakdown of members without power was: Autauga, 7,200; Bibb, 69; Chilton, 8,900; Coosa, 3,000; Dallas, 1,200; Elmore, 7,300; Lowndes, 426; Perry, 70; Talladega, 433; and Tallapoosa, 214. For real time numbers, visit http://outage.caec.com/ to view our outage monitor and our social media pages for updates.