ATLANTA, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Electric service to nearly 490,000 Georgia Power customers has been restored following Hurricane Zeta. As of 8 p.m. Thursday, approximately 280,000 customers are without power across Georgia. The company expects power to be restored to 95% of customers impacted by Hurricane Zeta by Sunday night.
While the company continues to assess damage, customers in the hardest hit areas should plan ahead for the potential of extended outages, possibly days, due to the vast damage from the storm. Based on the impact of Hurricane Zeta across the Southeast and other storm activity in the country, the availability of additional resources from other utilities to assist with restoration efforts in Georgia is limited.
"This storm caused an incredible amount of damage across the state that we are working as quickly and safely as possible to assess," said David Maske, Georgia Power Storm Center manager. "Multiple storms impacting the Southeast have strained assistance resources usually available to us, but our crews are working around the clock to get the lights back on. We appreciate our customers' patience and their support in the coming days."
Damage from Hurricane Zeta is similar to the damage seen after Hurricane Michael impacted the state in 2018. Damage includes broken poles, damaged transformers and numerous spans of wire down. Teams are also experiencing challenges including downed trees and roads blocked that must be cleared to enter certain areas. Damage assessment following widespread impacts from Hurricane Zeta continues across impacted areas around Georgia and must be completed as an essential step to efficiently and effectively allocate resources.
Regional restoration estimates will be available as soon as assessment work is completed.
Restoration progress since the beginning of the storm has been largely possible thanks to Georgia's advanced electric grid, which allows the company to reroute and restore power even when weather conditions prevent work in the field, as well as early work of crews. All of Georgia Power's teams are in the field today working to assess damage and restore power.
In the field, the power restoration process includes these key steps:
Assessing Conditions – Responding crews – or in major storms, damage assessment teams – work to identify trouble spots and the resources needed to fix them, which could involve coming onto customers' property. Crews will employ appropriate distancing efforts and customers are asked to keep children and pets indoors and maintain safe distances from crew members as well.
Making Repairs – Georgia Power crews focus on repairs that return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.
Damage Update – As of 8 p.m. Thursday
Power has been restored to nearly 490,000 Georgia Power customers across the state.
There are approximately 280,000 Georgia Power customers currently without power.
Approximately 4,000 cases of individual damage or trouble (including broken poles and lines) the company is working to repair.
Damage and outages are widespread and across much of the state.
The company encourages customers to keep safety first following Hurricane Zeta:
Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from power lines – it can kill.
Don't step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present. They could be electrified.
Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
Watch for Georgia Power crews working across the state. If driving, move over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road – it's the law in Georgia.
Tools You Can Use
Outage Alerts – Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
Outage & Storm Center – Available at www.georgiapower.com/storm, customers can visit this site to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
Outage Map – Housed within the Outage & Storm Center, Georgia Power's interactive Outage Map provides near real-time information, allowing users to see where outages are occurring across the state and track estimated restoration times.
Georgia Power Mobile App – Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.
@GeorgiaPower on Twitter – Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.
Storm Response Pandemic Preparations Georgia Power constantly monitors changing weather conditions and is prepared to respond to service interruptions that might occur because of severe weather while taking proactive actions including special "distancing" and other precautions to help protect customers and employees from the spread of the virus.
In addition, the company's comprehensive pandemic plans help ensure readiness of the critical personnel and facilities necessary to continue providing the safe and reliable energy customers expect and deserve.
Ways you can help keep workers safe while they work in the field:
If you see utility crews, please stay back a minimum of six feet – much more if they are working.
Please, no cookies or treats for workers during this time. Give a wave or thumbs up to workers you see. They'll understand your gratitude as they work to keep the lights on.
Don't touch utility trucks or equipment. Electric providers are operating under modified conditions to keep workers safe, which includes additional cleaning and sanitation of tools and equipment.
About Georgia Power Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).