ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia Power announced today that it expects to have service restored to 95 percent of customers impacted by Hurricane Irma, who can accept power, by Sunday night.
The hurricane, one of the strongest and largest storms to strike Georgia in decades, brought high winds, heavy rain, and flooding to every county in the state and impacted service to nearly a million Georgia Power customers. Damage assessment and restoration efforts started in earnest once weather conditions allowed following the storm and, by Tuesday night, more than 60 percent (590,000 customers) of Georgia Power customers impacted by the hurricane had service restored.
The company estimates that thousands of customers in some of the hardest hits parts of the state may not be able to reconnect to Georgia Power service due to extensive damage. Property owners should contact a qualified electrician to make repairs to private property prior to reconnecting to service.
Restoration Update – As of 5 a.m. Wednesday
Power has been restored to 590,000 Georgia Power customers across the state. The company has already restored power to more than 60 percent of impacted customers who can accept power and expects to have power restored for nearly 95 percent of impacted customers who can accept power by Sunday night.
There are approximately 360,000 Georgia Power customers currently without power. More than 12,000 cases of individual damage or trouble (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair. Restoration teams continue to face challenges including downed trees, blocked roads, and bridges that had to be inspected by the state following flooding.
Keep safety in mind throughout the restoration process:
Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from power lines – it can kill.
Don't step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present. They could be electrified.
Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
Watch for Georgia Power crews working across the state. If driving, move over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road – it's the law in Georgia.
Teams in the Field
When severe weather strikes, Georgia Power has access to additional resources available as part of the Southern Company system, which includes multiple electric and gas companies serving more than nine million customers nationwide. Georgia Power is part of a national mutual assistance network consisting of dozens of utilities from around the country, and the company is able to tap into reinforcements when needed to restore power to Georgia customers following a storm. While the company has contacted and requested aid through the mutual assistance network, resources have been assigned to harder-hit areas in Florida first before traveling to Georgia.
Georgia Power monitored the path of Hurricane Irma for more than a week prior to the storm entering Georgia. To complete restoration as quickly and safely as possible, the company has mobilized approximately, 6,000 personnel from Georgia Power, other Southern Company operating companies and assisting utilities. All of Georgia Power's resources are being held and dedicated to storm restoration efforts in the state following Hurricane Irma and the company continues to work to procure additional resources as they become available.
Tools You Can Use
Outage Alerts – Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
Outage & Storm Center – CLICK HERE to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
Outage Map – Housed within the Outage & Storm Center, Georgia Power's interactive Outage Map provides near real-time information, allowing users to see where outages are occurring across the state and track estimated restoration times.
Georgia Power Mobile App – Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.
@GeorgiaPower on Twitter – Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.
Georgia Power Family Services
To help its employees focus on safely restoring power for customers and relieve concerns about their own families, Georgia Power has also activated its Family Services volunteers, who are preparing to deploy to areas impacted by Hurricane Irma in anticipation of employee assistance requests. Family Services is supported by employee volunteers who are not involved with storm restoration.
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