Crews continue around-the-clock work on power restoration

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
Posted 7:15AM on Wednesday 13th September 2017 ( 9 months ago )
Georgia Power and EMC crews continued to repair the region's power grid Wednesday morning in the wake of widespread damage from Tropical Storm Irma.
A quick check of Georgia Power's outage map for Hall County indicated roughly 32,000 customers remained without electricity early Wednesday morning.  The highest number of outages in northeast Georgia for the company were in Gwinnett, Hall and Habersham counties.
Jackson EMC reported about 21,000 of its customers remained in the dark Wednesday morning, the largest number of those, about 10,000, were in Hall County.
"We made significant progress in Gwinnett County on Tuesday, restoring power for thousands of members. However, in our hardest hit area in Hall County, restoration remains challenging," Jackson EMC spokeswoman April Sorrow wrote in a media release.
Sorrow said the EMC has over 750 people working the outages.  That includes the EMC's own employees, crews from neighboring EMCs and workers from as far away as Minnesota.
"Crews are encountering thousands of downed trees, limbs and damaged equipment in the field. System-wide we’ve identified dozens of pieces of damaged equipment so far, including more than 70 broken poles," Sorrow stated.  "The average time to replace a broken pole is four hours, which is one reason restoration times are delayed for some members."
Habersham EMC reported the same number of customers in the dark at about 21,000 early Wednesday.
Some residents and businesses have been without power since Monday when tropical storm force winds tore through the area.  While crews worked on the ground Monday night, dangerous wind conditions kept many from taking to buckets for overhead work until daylight hours Tuesday.

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