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Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) Enter Last Stages of Restoration

EMCs have entered the final stages of restoration and restored service to many of the159,000 customers who lost power after a winter storm brought up to 13 inches of snow to some areas and widespread damage to the electric distribution system.

At 5 a.m., 19,000 customers remain without power, and EMCs estimate the majority of those will be restored by midnight. However, a few outages may take longer based upon the extent of damage and whether repairs are required to individual homes in order to receive service.

Restoring electricity following this particular storm has produced a number of challenges:

  • fallen trees blocked access to damaged areas and had to be cleared and removed before work could begin
  • the number of remote and widespread locations of many of the outages combined with rough terrain, and
  • large land areas served by EMCs and far fewer consumers per mile of line (an average of 10) compared with investor owned utilities (average of 34) and publicly owned utilities, or municipals (with an average of 48)

Since the storm began, EMCs and 300 additional linemen and 50 right-of-way crews from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and South Carolina have worked non-stop to repair or replace spans of power lines and broken power poles.

Damage has been severe in Cobb, Carroll, Cherokee, Douglas, Paulding and Union Counties. Other heavily-impacted counties include Bartow, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Pickens, Rabun, Towns and White Counties.

Note: This is the final statewide outage update. To follow further progress, visit Georgia EMC’s Storm Center at https://georgiaemc.com/storm-center for up-to-date outage information.

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