Georgia Power projects days of outage for some customers

Georgia Power sign at Plant McDonough-Atkinson in Cobb County accompanying article about restory powerGeorgia Power sign at Plant McDonough-Atkinson in Cobb County (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Georgia Power issued a press release in which they project that power is expected “to be restored to 95% of customers impacted by Hurricane Zeta by Sunday night,” and that customers still without power should plan for possible days of outage.

Here is the press release, issued just after 8 p.m. this evening:

Electric service to nearly 490,000 Georgia Power customers has been restored following Hurricane Zeta. As of 8 p.m. Thursday, approximately 280,000 customers are without power across Georgia. The company expects power to be restored to 95% of customers impacted by Hurricane Zeta by Sunday night.

While the company continues to assess damage, customers in the hardest hit areas should plan ahead for the potential of extended outages, possibly days, due to the vast damage from the storm. Based on the impact of Hurricane Zeta across the Southeast and other storm activity in the country, the availability of additional resources from other utilities to assist with restoration efforts in Georgia is limited.

“This storm caused an incredible amount of damage across the state that we are working as quickly and safely as possible to assess,” said David Maske, Georgia Power Storm Center manager. “Multiple storms impacting the Southeast have strained assistance resources usually available to us, but our crews are working around the clock to get the lights back on. We appreciate our customers’ patience and their support in the coming days.”

Damage from Hurricane Zeta is similar to the damage seen after Hurricane Michael impacted the state in 2018. Damage includes broken poles, damaged transformers and numerous spans of wire down. Teams are also experiencing challenges including downed trees and roads blocked that must be cleared to enter certain areas. Damage assessment following widespread impacts from Hurricane Zeta continues across impacted areas around Georgia and must be completed as an essential step to efficiently and effectively allocate resources.

Regional restoration estimates will be available as soon as assessment work is completed.

Restoration progress since the beginning of the storm has been largely possible thanks 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.

In the field, the power restoration process includes these key steps:

  • Assessing Conditions – Responding crews – or in major storms, damage assessment teams – work to identify trouble spots and the resources needed to fix them, which could involve coming onto customers’ property. Crews will employ appropriate distancing
  • efforts and customers are asked to keep children and pets indoors and maintain safe distances from crew members as well.
  • Making RepairsGeorgia Power crews focus on repairs that return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.

Damage Update – As of 8 p.m. Thursday

  • Power has been restored to nearly 490,000 Georgia Power customers across the state.
  • There are approximately 280,000 Georgia Power customers currently without power.
  • Approximately 4,000 cases of individual damage or trouble (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair.
  • Damage and outages are widespread and across much of the state.

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

  • 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.

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 – 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. 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.

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