(SEC Photo)

The Southside Electric Cooperative says service restoration will continue into this week. Officials say it is a slow process in places, especially those where trees and poles have come down and where roads remain flooded. The utility says while 33-thousand customers have had service restored, as of this morning, seven thousand remained without power.

From Southside Electric Cooperative: “Hurricane Michael created devastation across the majority of our service territory,” said Jeff Edwards, SEC’s president & CEO.“Hundreds of fallen trees created miles of downed power lines to repair along with approximately 100 broken poles. This is the worst damage I have seen in my 33-year career,with the exception of hurricanes Hugo and Isabel.”Despite the massive damage and dangerous conditions, approximately 33,000 members have been restored from the initial 40,000 impacted.Edwards added, “Our employees are working tirelessly, assisted by our extended family of sister cooperatives and contractors to reconstruct our electric grid torn apart by the high winds of Hurricane Michael. Our restoration efforts have been somewhat hampered due to flooded roads created by the storm’s torrential rains.”Due to the extent of damage to SEC’s distribution system, outage restoration efforts are expected to continue into this week.