Big-boy toys in place to get power back to Eagle Lake

Big-boy toys in place to get power back to Eagle Lake


Eagle Lake is seeing days without electricity coming to an end, hopefully, with a little help from some great big toys brought in for the occasion.

The storms early Monday morning knocked out power to more than 11,000 people in Mississippi. That includes the 70 or so remaining hearty souls who have chosen to ride out the flood waters at Eagle Lake. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, they had been without power for 12 hours and discovered their fresh water supply was also in danger because a panel had blown out on the pump controls. The water district folks pulled off a miracle and got the panel working again, powering it with a generator.

Twin County Power, however, was not so lucky.

They had four poles down in the flood waters on Low Water Bridge Road, an ironic name given the circumstances. Those four poles, the main line of electricity to Eagle Lake, were in about 5 feet of flood water.

Tim Perkins, General Manager of Twin County Electric, didn’t have the equipment needed, and he started working the phones trying to find a solution. Between calls, he dealt with angry and frustrated Eagle Lake folks and curious media types.

It was a long day for Perkins.  “We are doing everything in our power to restore electricity to Eagle Lake,” he said Tuesday.

He went on to admit that at that point he didn’t have a solution. Perkins has also been in the business long enough to know not to make promises of when power would be restored.

“I don’t even want to venture a guess when power will be back on” he told the Vicksburg Daily News.

Soon after that conversation, Perkins got a response from Richland-based Chain Electric. They had the equipment Perkins needed: highly specialized equipment made specifically for installing power line poles in the water. This video from Eagle Lake Fire Chief Earl Wallace shows that equipment being unloaded. It is a boat equipped with a lift and two 650 horse-power engines. Oh my.

General Manager Perkins is playing it safe with predictions, and is especially concerned with the safety of workers.

“If everything goes perfectly, and there are no problems whatsoever, we may have power by Thursday evening,” he said. “But I would plan on Friday before power is restored.”