ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Southwest Georgia Power companies are bracing for strong winds from Ida. If the soaking rains come first, it could leave many customers in the dark if trees topple and take power lines with them. Georgia Power, Water, Gas, and Light, and Georgia EMC's checked their supplies and put crews on standby.
For Georgia Power crews it was the calm before the storm. Many crews were finishing up their routine maintenance jobs, replacing transformers, while managers were making plans for what could potentially be several long days. "We have had conversations with our sister companies where we are trying to anticipate the needs of Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and of course southern Georgia here," said Georgia Power Area Manager Jay Smith.
At Mitchell EMC crews were going over what they've got on each truck and in their stockyard. "Our guys are gearing up, making sure that their trucks are stocked, that their trucks are gassed, that they have all the supplies they need. We're checking warehouse inventory," said Evera Moye, Mitchell EMC Marketing Vice President.
Each stockyard is supplied with a pile of poles, wire, and transformers and crews say they're ready for whatever comes southwest Georgia's way. "We're always in a state of preparedness it just depend on what season it is, what we're prepared for," Smith said.
At Mitchell EMC They've even worked out the details of getting food to crews too busy to stop and for those who might be sent outside southwest Georgia. "We do have resources for taking food to them even lodging if its required," said Moye.
Crews say it doesn't take much wind for trees to fall or for limbs to snap, leaving a neighborhood in the dark, that's why they'll be prepared for whatever Ida may bring.
Power officials say if you have an outage in your neighborhood, don't assume your neighbor has reported it. They say you should call to report the outage and then they ask for your patience while they get crews routed to your street. Remember depending on how bad the damage is it could take some time for crews to respond.
Georgia Power managers say they've tried to work it so that Southern Company crews responding to storm damage travel through southwest Georgia on their way to help communities in Alabama or Florida in case there's much damage in southwest Georgia.