EMCs Have Restored Power to Nearly 500,000 Customers

TUCKER, Ga. 5 a.m. – Since late Monday night, the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) have restored power to nearly a half million customers. The EMCs are currently reporting 52,000 customers without power, down from a peak of 550,000 after Tropical Storm Irma battered Georgia.

Unlike any storm in recent memory, Irma caused damage to all 41 EMCs in every region of the state. Crews have encountered a number of challenges making for a difficult and time-intensive restoration process:

  • Repairs were delayed in some cases until severe winds moved through and it was safe for employees to resume work.
  • Outages have been located in many areas that were inaccessible due to standing water and roads blocked by fallen trees and other debris.
  • Crews have been cutting their way into many areas before repairs begin.
  • Workers have been replacing record-numbers of broken power poles (surpassing previous records at many EMCs). Pole replacements are notoriously time- and labor intensive—one pole replacement can take as much as four hours.
  • Crews have been working in unusually wet conditions, making it tough on employees, trucks and equipment.

More than 4,500 linemen and hundreds of support personnel have been dedicated to restoring service. The number of states lending help stands at 15 and includes Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

As we enter the latter stages of restoration, EMCs ask members for continued patience. It is anticipated that the majority of customers will be restored by midnight tonight, but there will be isolated and remote outages in severely damaged areas that extend into the weekend.

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.

Note: The next update will be provided at 3 p.m. today. Meanwhile, for the latest outage information, go to https://georgiaemc.com/storm-center/current-outages.