EMCs Working with 15 States on Massive Restoration Effort
TUCKER,Ga. 5 a.m.—Overnight, the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) restored power to nearly 30,000 customers, reducing the number of outages to 122,000, down from a peak of 550,000 on Monday night. Tropical Storm Irma has proven to be one of the most destructive storms to pound EMC service territories in recent memory.
After Irma finally made her way across Georgia late Monday night and allowed crews to return to work, EMCs have restored service to more than 400,000 customers. At one point, outages impacted all 41 electric cooperatives from north Georgia to the southern tip of the state. What’s more, some electric co-ops reported as much as 90 percent of their distribution system was down following six hours of sustained winds in excess of 30 mph, with gusts to 60 mph.
True to the cooperative spirit, EMCs harnessed their resources and put together a contingent of 4,500 linemen plus hundreds of additional support personnel to tackle the massive effort. With the addition of New Jersey, the number of states offering assistance now totals 15 and includes Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
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.
Customers should report power outages by contacting their local EMC and stay away from downed lines and report them immediately to their local utility or call 911.
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, half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.