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News & Press: Georgia's Electric Cooperatives

EMCs Send Crews to Help in Aftermath of Hurricane Laura

Friday, August 28, 2020  
Posted by: Terri Statham
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(Tucker, GA. August 27, 2020)—Personnel from electric membership corporations (EMCs) across Georgia are headed to Louisiana to help electric co-ops restore power following Hurricane Laura.

"Co-ops in Louisiana are reporting significant damage and requesting as many crews from Georgia as possible to help in the restoration effort," said Harry Reeves, vice president of training, education and safety with Georgia EMC. "In some cases, 100 percent of systems are without power."

"They’ve been dealt a tremendous blow with winds in excess of 100 mph in some areas, along with severe rain and flooding which has wreaked havoc with the electric infrastructure."

EMC crews will begin leaving in the next day or so and will be transporting tools and equipment and loaded with basic necessities for themselves and others in need of help.

The number of EMCs and crews offering restoration assistance could increase in the days ahead, after all co-ops in Louisiana complete the daunting task of surveying damage and identifying specific needs.

In recent days, 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.

EMCs in Georgia are providing assistance through mutual aid agreements between the nation's nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives which help one another during natural disasters, including storm restoration efforts.

Electric co-ops 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, based in Tucker, is coordinating a statewide crew assistance effort, working from an emergency plan which includes preparations and response to a number of weather events.

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.

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