Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) are Braced for Winter Weather and Report Few Power Outages

Jan 22, 2016, 20:15 ET from Georgia EMC

TUCKER, Ga., Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As of 8 p.m., Georgia's electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) are reporting approximately 1,100 customers in north Georgia without power but warn that outages will likely increase this evening and overnight in areas that experience high winds, significant snowfall and freezing rain.

Impacted areas at this time include northern Gwinnett, Hall, Forsyth, Banks, Cherokee, Lumpkin, Fannin, Pickens, Gilmer, and White counties and particularly Rabun County which is experiencing especially heavy snowfall.

In anticipation of this event, the electric cooperatives called upon Georgia EMC to contact other EMCs in unaffected areas to provide help and support. At this time, crews from 15 EMCs and contractors from south Georgia are on-scene or en route to help.

EMCs employees and contract crews have been operating under a heightened state of readiness and preparing trucks with emergency equipment and necessary materials in preparation for the predicted wintry mix.  

Officials have been closely monitoring weather conditions for several days and have deployed a number of contingency plans to address problems associated with high winds, snow accumulation, and freezing rain which can cause significant damage to the electric distribution system.

Co-ops are stocked with poles, wire, connectors, transformers and other supplies frequently used in the restoration process. Vendors have been contacted to be on standby in case additional materials are needed.

Customers should report power outages by contacting their local EMC and stay away from downed lines and report them immediately to their local utility or call 911.

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, half of Georgia's population, across 73 percent of the state's land area.