BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Supply chain issues are affecting electric companies across the country and in Baldwin County. The City of Fairhope Electric Department is stocking up while they can.
“I think going into hurricane season this year we’re really preparing because of the supply chain issues,” said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan on Tuesday.
It’s tough enough as it is to get power restored quickly after a major storm hits, but this hurricane season Mayor Sullivan says power crews face even more problems.
“We’ve gotten a pod and we are really looking at what we needed after Hurricane Sally and kind of replicating that into the pod. One of the things that we’re having a hard time getting is transformers. We have been reaching out to every company we know trying to get any kind of stock pile that we can get,” she explained.
She tells us overhead wires are also in short supply. In some cases, many of the important components needed to restore power and keep it on are backlogged for several months or up to a year. If a major hurricane threatens Baldwin County she’s worried some residents could be left in the dark, waiting for help.
“A lot of the mutual aid companies that come in from other electric systems would bring supplies with them as well and we just know that’s not going to happen this year because everybody is really in competition for these transformers and wire and everything else we need,” said Sullivan.
Riviera Utilities is also stocking up and doing what they can to manage ahead of a storm.
“Almost all manufacturers have pushed delivery dates beyond normal schedules. Meeting the demands of unprecedented growth while preparing for potential storms means we need to try and acquire as much inventory as we can,” the company tells us in a statement.
“It’s frustrating to the employees who are out there just wanting to help restore power and not having those resources it’s something that’s unfamiliar territory for them as well,” added Mayor Sullivan.
Officials say they’re in constant communication with manufacturers and suppliers to make sure items are shipping on time, but they’re not sure how long these delays will last. Baldwin EMC officials tell us they have plenty of supplies stocked up at this time and the shortages are not affecting their current inventory.