Electric Cooperatives In Georgia Ready To Help Following Tropical Storm Barry
Friday, July 12, 2019
Posted by: Terri Statham
If needed, EMC linemen and trucks
will head to Louisiana and Mississippi.
TUCKER, Ga., July 12, 2019—If needed, electric cooperatives in Georgia will head to Louisiana and Mississippi to help restore power to areas impacted by Tropical Storm Barry. EMC leaders emphasize that no crews will be released until it is determined that no outages have occurred in Georgia as a result of the storm.
"We have a network of cooperatives across the country that will spring into action and help a fellow co-op during emergencies and times of crisis," said Harry Reeves, vice president of Training, Education & Safety for Georgia EMC. "We have an unwritten agreement that says if we're in trouble, they help us. In return, we help them."
Since Wednesday, Georgia EMC has participated in daily conference calls with statewide electric cooperative associations in 30 states including Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia, among others.
The number of EMCs and personnel from Georgia offering assistance will be determined once Tropical Storm Barry has made landfall and the affected EMCs complete damage assessments of their respective electric distribution systems.
Winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surge are the biggest threats with Tropical Storm Barry and can blow electric poles and structures to the ground and knock trees on power lines, shutting down power to thousands of consumers.
While Reeves can't say specifically in what order power will be restored in the affected areas, he notes that many utilities follow a standard industry practice to repair and energize lines. First, feeder and primary lines are repaired, then secondary and service lines next. This method restores power to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.
The EMCs in Georgia have vast experience restoring power following major storms. In recent years, Georgia has been especially hard hit with hurricanes, tornadoes and ice/snow events. Consequently, EMC crews in the state have worked alongside co-ops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, plus some from as far away as Michigan and Wisconsin following the historic damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Michael in recent years.
Georgia EMC is a statewide trade association representing the state's 41 electric cooperatives, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia's customer-owned co-ops 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.