Post-Hurricane Michael EOC meeting, thousands without power

WALTON COUNTY OFFICIALS met at the Walton County Emergency Operations Center on Thursday, October 11, to discuss the next courses of action following Hurricane Michael. (by Jenna Bailey)

Story by JENNA BAILEY

Mid-morning on Thursday, October 11, the day after Hurricane Michael tore through the area, Walton County officials met at the Walton County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in DeFuniak Springs, Fla. Those in attendance included Commissioner Bill Chapman (District 1), Commissioner Sara Comander (District 4), County Administrator Larry Jones, DeFuniak Springs Mayor Bob Campbell, Walton County School District Superintendent Russell Hughes, and Walton County Circuit Judge Kelvin Wells.

CHELCO contractor Josh Reasoner (left) and CHECLO lineman Curtis King (right) walk out of a swamp in Freeport, Fla., after repairing power poles damaged by Hurricane Michael. (photo courtesy of CHELCO, Inc.)

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss damage the storm had caused; how many citizens were without power and for how long; road closures; and when Walton county schools and local government offices should resume normal operations.

A CHELCO contractor with Musgrove Construction clears limbs from a powerline in Freeport, Fla., to restore electricity knocked out by Hurricane Michael. (photo courtesy of CHELCO, Inc.)

At the height of the storm, Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative (CHELCO) reported 21,000 customers without power. By the October 11 EOC meeting, Commissioner Comander informed those in attendance that the number had been brought down to 14,000.

In a CHELCO press release on Friday, October 12, the number of CHELCO customers without power had dropped to 1,300.