Cold causes some to lose electricity - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Some shelters open

Cold causes some to lose electricity

January 24, 2003

As temperatures plummet, people turn up the heat, but so far, it hasn't put any additional stress on Albany's Water, Gas and Light system the way it has for some others.

Lorie Farkas, with WG&L, says while people may be using their heaters more, it has not created a major problem for the company. She says that customers, however, need to keep in mind that turning up the thermostats to keep warm now, means that next month's power bills will be higher.

Farkas says it's important to keep your thermostat at sixty-eight and put on extra layers of clothing.

The cold forced a South Georgia plant to shut down for the weekend. Bainbridge Mills closed at midnight, and will not reopen until midnight Sunday.

Plant manager Jim Beck said the plant is one of Georgia Power's interruptible customers. That means that if the demand for electricity reaches a critical point, Bainbridge Mills would be asked to cut back on its use.

Statewide, about 9,000 Georgia Power customers were without power at mid-morning. In Southwest Georgia, a spokesman said about 2,300 homes, businesses and schools were affected.

100 Sumter EMC customers in southern Lee County were without power for about an hour Friday morning. The outage was caused by blown fuses.

Power companies in Georgia are urging you to try to conserve electricity and heat however you can. With temperatures dipping into the teens and already running below average this winter, electricity demand is expected to be at an all-time high.

That means if everyone doesn't do his or her part to conserve, transmission lines could overload, and thousands could be left in the cold.

But there are some things you can do to save energy. “If you can wait and run dryer and the dishwasher early in the morning or late at night, peak won't be as high,” said Evera Moye of Mitchell EMC.

Don't crank up that space heater for additional heat. Instead use the sun during the day by opening up the blinds. And before you boost your thermostat, put on an extra sweater.

Shelters will be open Friday night at the Pelham Senior Center, Pelham City Hall, Union Grove Baptist Church, and the East Pelham Baptist Church.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Cross Creek School located at 324 Clark Road in Thomasville. Those needing emergency transportation to the shelter location should call 229-228-7372 or 229-228-CARE.

posted at 11:45AM bydave.miller@walb.com

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