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Southern Company subsidiaries awarded for hurricane response and assistance


Thursday, January 12, 2006, ATLANTA – Southern Company operating subsidiaries in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi have received awards from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) for their response and assistance efforts following the devastation of hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which struck in 2005.

Mississippi Power received EEI’s Emergency Response Award for 2005 for its response to Hurricane Katrina. Alabama Power received the same award for its response to hurricanes Katrina and Dennis, and Gulf Power received the award for its response to Hurricane Dennis.

Alabama Power, Georgia Power and Gulf Power received EEI’s Emergency Assistance Award for 2005 for their assistance to sister and neighboring utilities in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

EEI, the association of investor-owned electric utilities, presents its “Emergency Response” and “Emergency Assistance” awards each year to member companies to recognize outstanding efforts in restoring electric service that has been disrupted by severe weather conditions or other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges following a national and international nomination process.

Commenting on the awards, EEI President Tom Kuhn noted the extraordinary damage inflicted on Alabama Power and Mississippi Power by Hurricane Katrina, which he called, “perhaps the most destructive storm on record.” Kuhn noted that the EEI award judges were particularly struck by the almost total devastation of Mississippi Power’s electricity infrastructure. “The tremendous magnitude of this destruction, and the very rapid rebuilding of the system within 12 days, is one of the most amazing accomplishments we have ever seen,” Kuhn said.

When Katrina’s winds died down and the floodwaters receded, 100 percent of Mississippi Power’s 195,000 customers were left without power and more than 65 percent of the company’s distribution and transmission facilities were damaged.

As for Alabama Power, nearly 637,000 customers were left in the dark as a result of Katrina, which also caused extensive damage to Alabama Power’s delivery infrastructure.

“Hurricane Katrina, which turned out to be worse than the worst-case scenario we had prepared for, triggered a can-do spirit in our employees,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO David Ratcliffe. “Our Southern Style credo, a simple statement of three values, was clearly demonstrated during this tragic time. The first value, ‘unquestionable trust,’ was demonstrated by management’s empowerment of employees to respond to the crisis and get the job done. As a result, our company delivered on its second value of ‘superior performance.’ The third Southern Style value requires no elaboration – ‘total commitment’ says it all.”

EEI also recognized Alabama Power’s and Gulf Power’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Dennis. More than 241,000 Alabama Power customers lost power, as a result of Dennis. The company restored more than 99 percent of those customers within 48 hours – the most efficient restoration in its company’s history. Dennis left more than 242,000 Gulf Power customers without power and damaged nearly one-third of its 1,579 miles of transmission lines. Despite thunderstorms during the restoration process, Gulf Power completed restoration of service in six days.

Georgia Power, Alabama Power and Gulf Power received EEI’s Emergency Assistance Award for 2005 for sending employees, contractors and equipment to help their sister companies and neighboring utilities recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Georgia Power sent more than 2,300 personnel to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi to assist with the Katrina restoration; more than 400 personnel to Texas after Hurricane Rita; and more than 100 to Florida after Hurricane Wilma.

Alabama Power sent more than 1,000 personnel to Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; more than 300 to Texas after Rita and more than 450 to South Florida after Wilma.

Gulf Power sent more than 200 personnel to Mississippi to assist in the Katrina restoration; a team of 30 to Louisiana after Rita and about 50 to South Florida after Wilma.

“No matter what kind of storm we endure, I am always extremely proud of our entire Southern Company family of employees and their dedication to getting the lights back on for our customers,” Ratcliffe said.

With more than 4 million customers and more than 40,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index six years in a row. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at


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