TUCKER,Ga. – As of 3 p.m., Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) are reporting approximately 375,000 customers without power, up from 146,000 earlier today. Outage numbers have increased throughout the day as south Georgia and much of central Georgia has been battered by heavy downpours and sustained winds in excess of 50 mph, with gusts of more than 60 mph. This afternoon tropical-force winds began hitting metro Atlanta as well and now accounts for approximately 66,000 of those outages.
Much of today has involved deploying crews to affected areas as weather conditions permitted and conducting damage assessments which is proving especially challenging and time-intensive. Crews report difficulty reaching many areas due to extreme wind, downed trees and debris blocking roadways.
Due to the degree of damage, EMCs will be joined by hundreds of additional line workers and right-of-way crews from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and crews from as far away as Iowa, Illinois and Oklahoma.
The cooperatives are providing assistance through mutual aid agreements between the nation’s nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives, which help one another during natural disasters, including power restoration efforts.
During restoration, EMCs caution members to be mindful of the following safety measures to ensure the safety of the public and EMC personnel:
Do not try and remove trees or limbs that have fallen onto power lines.
Continue to use caution and stay away from downed power lines.
This is especially true in wet situations and even more so with standing water as a result of this storm.
Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.