EMCs Make Strides Following Hurricane Michael
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Posted by: Terri Statham
TUCKER, Ga. – Georgia’s electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) have restored power to 120,000 customers as of 3 p.m. today. Outages continue for 90,000 customers, mostly in the hardest-hit areas of Middle Georgia and Southwest Georgia, but this number represents a significant decrease from the high of 210,000.
The extended recovery process can be attributed largely to the type of damage caused by Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday. Unlike most storms in the last several years, Michael caused extensive damage to the high-voltage transmission lines and electrical substations that provide electricity to the local EMCs, which distribute it to customers through smaller lines. Georgia Transmission Corp. continues to work to bring these lines and substations back to full operation, and as that work progresses the restoration efforts to residential customers and businesses will begin to speed up.
Hundreds of line workers—including crews from elsewhere in Georgia and from Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia—are repairing lines and poles as quickly and safely as possible, but the process is arduous and takes time. Replacing one pole can take four hours, for example. Because of this and because many of the damaged and destroyed poles and fallen lines are spread out in sparsely populated areas in many cases, the recovery efforts continue to be arduous.
Because of the length of time it will take to fully restore power in Hurricane Michael’s aftermath, EMCs suggest that those who are medically fragile or who have other critical electricity-dependent needs should consider temporarily seeking shelter in less-affected parts of the state.
Note to media: Updated outage information can be found throughout the day on Georgia EMC’s web site at https://georgiaemc.com/page/outages. The next written update will be provided tomorrow morning.
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, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area. To learn more, visit www.georgiaemc.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Georgia Transmission Corporation plans, builds and maintains more than 3,100 miles of high-voltage powerlines and 650 substations that deliver electric power to 38 electric membership corporations (EMCs) across the state. Georgia Transmission and our member EMCs are not-for-profit cooperatives that serve approximately 4.1 million people in nearly 70 percent of the state’s land area. See www.gatrans.com