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Dennis turns out lights

By By MICHELE GERLACH – Publisher
Hurricane Dennis, which approached land Sunday as a Category 4 storm, left most of Escambia County in the dark, causing more damage in the west end of the county than the east.
After Hurricane Dennis made landfall, Escambia County had 28,000 people without power, Escambia County EMA director David Jennings said.
Approximately 18,000 of those households are Southern Pine customers and 10,000 are Alabama Power customers, he said.
At the end of operations on Tuesday, Alabama Power expected to have power restored to 98 percent of the residents in the east end of the county; 75 percent of the residents in the Flomaton area; and 50 percent of Atmore area resident. At the end of the same period, Southern Pine, expected to have power restored to 90 percent of its customers.
Alabama brought 91 additional crews from as far away as Oklahoma in to Brewton to assist with system repairs.
Southern Pine expected to have power restored to all of its customers who could receive it by the end of the day Wednesday.
DAMAGE
Jennings said the bulk of the damage started in Wawbeek and Canoe, moved into Atmore, Huxford, Poarch and McCullougth.
There was only one reported injury, he said, and that occurred after the effort had shifted to response mode.
FEDERAL DECLARATION
Escambia County, Ala., received a presidential disaster designation at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, opening numerous federal resources," Jennings said.
Individual assessments began on Tuesday to determine how much federal aid will be necessary. It was too soon on Tuesday to put dollar figures to the damage, he said.
Jennings praised elected officials for their leadership.