30th Anniversary of the Delta Ice Storm

February 8, 2024, marks the 30th anniversary of the 1994 Delta Ice Storm. Up to 6 inches of ice accumulated in some areas of the Mississippi Delta, bringing down more than 8,000 utility poles and damaging more than 4,700 miles of power lines. The resulting power outages lasted for days—and up to a month in some hard-hit areas.


An excerpt from then-South Mississippi Electric Power Association’s (now known as Cooperative Energy) 1994 Annual Report detailing the historic Delta Ice Storm:

Mother nature gave North Mississippi an icy reception on February 8 and 9, 1994, with the worst ice storm the area had experienced in more than a century. In those two days, the state’s delta region was transformed into a land of frozen destruction. Power poles were snapped like toothpicks for miles on end, and hundreds of thousands of rural electric consumers were without power and other services. The distribution systems of several Mississippi Electric Power Associations had to be completely reconstructed – systems which had originally taken years to build.

South Mississippi Electric Power Association’s transmission crews and other employees set out on February 11 to join in the massive restoration effort. Under the Emergency Work Plan, Mississippi’s Electric Power Associations work together to assist other EPAs in times of such system crisis to help restore power to rural electric members as quickly as possible. SMEPA’s crews spent one week rebuilding seven miles of 115 kV transmission line which served Delta Electric Power Association’s substation in Shaw, Mississippi — all existing structures had been destroyed by the ice storm. Although conditions were often cold and uncomfortable, the hours long, and the work never-ending, SMEPA’s crews remained in North Mississippi for five additional weeks to help rebuild Delta EPA’s entire distribution system.

The cooperative spirit is the power behind people working together to achieve a common goal — and that spirit of unity and determination is alive and well at South Mississippi Electric Power Association.