Now that Tropical Storm Irma’s winds and lashing rain have left Georgia, power crews are beginning to make assessments of the damage.
Considering the widespread damage to utility lines, it will at least be several days and maybe weeks before service is fully restored.
As of 4 a.m. Tuesday, Georgia Power reported 870,000 customers without electricity, which is roughly half of their residential customer base.
In addition, Tri-County EMC had 17, 634 outages in Putnam, Jones, Baldwin, Bibb, Jasper, Morgan, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties.
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The utility had restored service to nearly 1,200 since the peak outage Monday.
Tri-County members are urged to report outages at their website.
Flint Energies had 16,544 members without service as of Tuesday morning, but restored electricity to about 15,000 people overnight as crews worked all night.
More than 6400 Flint accounts were without service Houston County, 2,328 in Macon County, 2148 in Peach, 2044 in Crawford and more than a thousand in Taylor County.
Flint outages also were reported in Bibb, Chattahoochee, Dooly, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Schley, Sumter, Talbot and Twiggs counties.
The company’s phone lines have been inundated over the past 24 hours, but Flint members are urged to try again by calling 888-354-6836.
Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation has 13,665 outages in 13 counties, down from 35,000 customers without electricity in the height of the storm.
Those hoping to have electricity back on soon should be prepared to be patient.
Numerous trees and utility poles snapped during the powerful tropical system that affected all of the state.
Many roads are blocked due to fallen trees, which is slowing response in some neighborhoods.
Georgia Power is just beginning the damage assessment phase that must happen before crews begin to restore lines.
Repairs could take “several days, if not weeks, depending on the amount of damage and safe access to the area,” a company news release stated.
“As weather conditions improve, restoration efforts will accelerate, but it could take an extended period of time for all customers to be restored due to the vast damage from Hurricane Irma,” the release stated.
The company is wrestling with 9,500 individual damage cases affecting only one customer and those could take the longest to repair since high volume lines are given priority.
Safety tips to remember:
▪ Watch for downed wires that could be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
▪ Don’t touch any line or try to remove nearby tree branches.
▪ Don’t step into water or saturated ground near downed power lines which could be electrified.
▪ Avoid chain link fences that could be conducting electricity over great distances.
▪ Watch for power crews working across the state and move over a lane where utility vehicles are stopped on the side of a road.