“I considered it a presidential directive to get those pipelines operating,” said Jim Compton, general manager of the South Mississippi Electric Power Association – which distributes power that rural electric cooperatives sell to consumers and businesses. “I reluctantly agreed to pull half our transmission line crews off other projects and made getting the transmission lines to the Collins substations a priority,” Compton said. “Our people were told to work until it was done.”
….Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney’s office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately….
Mindy Osborn, emergency room coordinator at Stone County Hospital, said the power was not restored until six days after the storm on Sept. 4. She didn’t have the number of patients who were hospitalized during the week after the storm. “Oh, yes, 24 hours earlier would have been a help,” Osborn said.
Compton said workers who were trying to restore power to some rural water systems also were taken off their jobs and placed on the Colonial Pipeline project.