Mississippi Power crews ready to roll


There are those who stay here on the Coast regardless of the threat a hurricane may bring, among them are those who work at Mississippi Power.

Ninety-five years and going strong, like the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Mississippi Power has weathered storms, a lot of them.

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Katrina damaged 70 percent of Mississippi Power’s facilities, causing substantial damage to all five units of Plant Watson in Gulfport. All of the utilities 195,000 customers in South Mississippi were without electricity, but not for long. Mississippi Power Spokesman Jeff Shepard said, “We’re a member of a larger group called the Southeastern Electric Exchange. What that is – a group of utilities from across the Southeast and across the country that pool resources when one of them is impacted by a natural disaster. So post-Hurricane Katrina, we were able to call in 12,000 resources and get the lights back on in 12 days.”

Katrina and other disasters have provided a lot of on-the-job training and test runs for whatever may be on the horizon, especially as we venture into the 2020 hurricane season. “We are constantly working on our storm planning. This year, again we’ve had to roll in the pandemic and CDC guidelines and different things like that into our planning, which we have done, and we’re prepared to respond should our southeast Mississippi territory be impacted by a storm.”

Shepard says now’s a good time to review your own plan. “The typical things you would typically find in your storm pack, you probably need to add a couple of items and update them and make sure you are ready to go.”

Whether you plan to ride out the storm or evacuate according to your family plan, Mississippi Power wants you to know they are equipped, their crews are ready, and they are ready to roll. “While the storm is making landfall, and if the winds get above about 30 miles an hour our guys are going to come out of the bucket trucks, but they will be working to restore power as the winds are starting to pick up or come down as the storm passes through.”

Mississippi Power’s crews and efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by those here on the Coast who weathered Katrina and beyond.

Mississippi Power is being highlighted in the 30th anniversary edition of the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ for the work the company did following Hurricane Katrina, showcased as an example of the seven effective habits that work.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!