Power to 405,000 Georgia Power customers restored following Hurricane Irma

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Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017

ATLANTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- After Hurricane Irma took power from residents across Georgia, crews have been on the job to ensure power is restored.

Georgia Power has restored power to more than 405,000 customers across the state. In a press release as of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, close to 545,000 customers are without power across Georgia.

While the company is working around the clock, customers should plan ahead for the potential for extended outages, possibly days or weeks, due to the vast damage from the storm. Regional and statewide restoration estimates will be available as soon as assessment is completed, confirmed in a press release.

Damage assessment following widespread destruction from Hurricane Irma is in progress throughout Georgia and must be completed as an essential step to efficiently and effectively allocate resources, according to a press release. During assessment and restoration, Georgia Power must wait until conditions are safe for crews to begin power restoration and additional heavy rain or high winds may impact efforts. Additional challenges faced following the storm include downed trees, blocked roads and bridges that must be inspected by the state following flooding.

Restoration progress since the beginning of the storm has been largely possible due to Georgia’s advanced electric grid, which allows the company to reroute and restore power even when weather conditions prevent work in the field, as well as early work of crews. All of Georgia Power’s teams are in the field today working to assess damage and restore power.

Damage Update as of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday:
-There are close to 545,000 Georgia Power customers currently without power.

-More than 9,800 cases of individual damage or trouble (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair.

-Damage and outages are widespread and across the state with the hurricane impacting service to customers around Savannah, Columbus, Metro Atlanta and beyond.

The company encourages customers to keep safety first following Hurricane Irma:

-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 9 million customers nationwide. Additionally, 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 travelling 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 efficient 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 people 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, which is available at www.georgiapower.com/storm, customers can visit this site to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. And, 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

Read the original version of this article at www.wrdw.com.