ATLANTA, Oct. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power crews continue the first full day of restoration following Hurricane Matthew and are experiencing the widespread devastation across Coastal Georgia firsthand. As soon as allowed by emergency agencies, damage assessment teams were the first to re-enter evacuated areas and are relaying field information so that restoration teams can be dispatched as safely and efficiently as possible. As of Sunday afternoon, damage assessment was well underway across the coast with teams reporting severe damage from the strongest hurricane to strike the Georgia coast in decades, including hundreds of downed trees and sustained flooding.
There are approximately 5,000 personnel from Georgia Power and assisting utilities working to restore power following Hurricane Matthew. The Georgia Power storm center and social media command center located at the company's headquarters in Atlanta are also staffed 24 hours a day to support field personnel and keep affected customers informed.
"We have teams working around the clock for customers across the coast," said Georgia Power Emergency Operations Director Aaron Strickland. "We were prepared for a storm of this size and are working as quickly and safely as we can to navigate hazardous conditions and make effective repairs to restore power to as many customers as possible."
Damage assessment is the first step in the restoration process and is followed by repair activities such as replacing poles, transformers and spans of power lines. Georgia Power estimates that all damage assessment for Hurricane Matthew will be complete by Monday. Based on current estimates, restoration for all customers could take days, especially in remote areas and on the coast.
The company has issued the following update on Hurricane Matthew restoration efforts as of 7:00 p.m. Sunday:
- Power has been restored to more than 150,000 customers.
- Approximately 160,000 customers are without power in coastal Georgia.
- More than 500 distribution poles are broken or damaged.
- Nearly 38 miles of wire (1,000 spans) need to be replaced.
- Damage and power outages are concentrated in Coastal Georgia, including Chatham, Glynn, Effingham, Bulloch and Liberty Counties.
As part of Southern Company, as well as a national mutual assistance network, Georgia Power is able to receive assistance from other utilities not impacted by the storm to aid in restoration efforts. Utilities from other states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, are currently in Georgia working alongside Georgia Power crews to restore service for customers.
Georgia Power reminds customers that dangerous conditions exist following a storm. Never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or cable wires that touch a power line. Never pull tree limbs off power lines yourself or enter areas with debris, downed trees or standing water as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage. If using a generator, follow all manufacturers' connection and safety instructions and shut the generator down before reconnecting to Georgia Power service.
The company also offers the following tools you can use to stay informed during restoration efforts:
- 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.
About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest 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 2.5 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, 21st century 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) and Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower).
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SOURCE Georgia Power