Linemen gather for North Ga. storm - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Linemen gather for North Ga. storm

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January 28, 2005

Albany-- A Winter storm warning for Northern Georgia has been issued for tonight through tomorrow afternoon. People in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia have been warned to prepare for ice.

Georgia Power linemen and engineers load up to begin staging near Atlanta, ready for expected power outages caused by a predicted ice storm tonight.

Lineman Drew Conley said "every storm is not the same. So you never know what you have until you get there."

The linemen pack clothes for five days, but they have no idea how long they will be gone. Lineman Scottie Lewis said, "The bad thing about it is leaving our family, wives and kids, but there are wives and kids up there that won't have power, and ours do. So it's a good feeling."

Ice storms in Atlanta can produce a lot of damage. Lineman Jerry Boyette said "Ice builds up, and it will get pretty good size around the wire. That gets it heavy, and it breaks. Tree limbs and everything else gets on it."

The crews will be sent where needed, and are prepared to go as far as North Carolina. They know their job is vital.

"No one likes to be cold or hungry," said Lineman Matt Godwin. "Without electricity for the most part you can't stay warm without an alternative heat source. It's not a good time."

These linemen will be out in the worst of this winter storm, making sure people have power and heat.

Scottie Lewis said "No sir, it's not a vacation, for sure. You may go up there working 16 to 18 hours a day, just depending."

Two-dozen Georgia Power trucks pulled out about 3:00. They will stage in Morrow, ready to try to keep the lights on in what is expected to be a icy winter storm.

Albany Public Works crews are also getting ready for icy conditions, even though the weather isn't expected to get as bad here.

 Crews load trucks with sand Friday to spread over roads and bridges-- if they get icy. "Then if the temperature drops, I'll come in and check all the bridges,” says Street Superintendent Stacey Rowe. “If we start having icy condition, I'll call in an assistant to help me put the sand out."

Dozens of Georgia Power crews from Brunswick left this afternoon for the Augusta area, where they will stand by.


posted at 3:55PM by dave.miller@walb.com