TUCKER,Ga. – As of 3 p.m., Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) are reporting approximately 347,000 customers without power, down from a peak of 550,000 customers late Monday night. EMC crews have worked throughout the day conducting damage assessments in areas that were previously impassable to make great strides in power restoration.
Due to the size and widespread nature of this storm, and the level of damage in every part of the state, the electric cooperatives have arranged to bring in 3,000 additional crews from 13 states, bringing the total number of extra personnel in Georgia to 4,000 to help co-ops expedite the restoration process.
Consequently, Georgia will become a temporary home in the days ahead to EMC and contract crews from Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Caroline, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
EMCs stress that damage from Irma is a historic outage event in Georgia and it will take days to completely replace or repair power lines and power poles in every corner of the state. Unlike a summer thunderstorm which is short-lived and localized, Hurricane Irma battered entire EMC service territories for hours upon hours. For that reason, restoration will span several days and some members may be without power through the weekend. Members should follow local EMC restoration updates provided in newspapers, TV and radio, social media and EMC web sites and make alternate arrangements if necessary.
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.