ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The storms that hit January 2nd crippled the City of Albany and left thousands without power.
What public officials do in the following 48 hours of such a crisis, is crucial to getting help to those affected and setting itself up for the road to a successful recovery.
No one is questioning whether city officials jumped into action, however they may not have been fully prepared to take on the enormous task of quickly restoring services back to the citizens.
Georgia Power restored power back to its customers in two days, by January 4th.
We now know that Georgia Power quickly reached out to City Manager Sharon Subadan and City Utilities operations director Jimmy Norman, and offered assistance.
That assistance was never accepted.
We asked the City Manager why she decided not to accept Georgia Power's help.
She has not responded to our request for an interview.
Instead she sent a press release saying that the City relied on its partnership with ECG, the Electric Cities of Georgia, sending out linemen, equipment and supplies.
The damage to lines and transformers as well as the mass of debris and huge trees, were a huge obstruction to restoring power.
However, it cannot be ignored that a competent, experienced, and willing resource was standing by to jump in and help.
So why not accept all the help and expertise you can get, for those who were left in the dark and the cold for weeks?
The city could also follow Georgia Power's example of keeping its residents informed of where and when they would get their power back.
The utility has an interactive map on its website indicating power outages and just how many residents are without power at any given time.
City officials waited several days before distributing a map of power outages and telling its customers just how long they would have to wait before they got power.
As we face more potential threatening storms, we hope that city officials will learn from the past and move forward to be better prepared in the future.