TUCKER, Ga. – At 3 p.m., EMCs in Georgia are reporting approximately 177,000 members without power primarily in middle and south Georgia where Hurricane Michael landed in the state as a Category 3 hurricane. Outage numbers rose sharply overnight as the storm traveled north and across much of the state, causing some of the worst destruction in the southeast.
Unlike recent storms, Hurricane Michael severely damaged transmission assets such as high voltage transmission lines in addition to distribution assets. For that reason, Georgia Transmission Corp., in conjunction with local EMCs, has spent much of the day conducting an extensive damage assessment of Georgia’s power grid.
The findings are sobering. Crews are discovering catastrophic damage to the electric infrastructure–the likes of which has not been seen in decades. There are multiple high voltage transmission lines down as well as 68 substations out of service.
With this much damage to both the transmission and distribution system, EMCs warn there will be extensive delays in total restoration. Consequently, some EMC members in the most damaged parts of the state—especially those who are medically fragile–may wish to make temporary arrangements.
Earlier this week, EMCs in the path of Hurricane Michael called upon crews and line workers across the state as well as nearby states to aid in the restoration effort. Right now, crews and equipment have already arrived or are expected from Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The list of states sending help is likely to increase in the days ahead.
During the recovery and restoration effort, EMCs want to remind the public to avoid downed power lines and assume that any downed lines are energized and extremely dangerous and could be fatal depending upon ground conditions. This is especially true in wet situations and even more so with standing water as a result of this storm.
Note to media: Updated outage information can be found throughout the day on Georgia EMC’s web site at https://georgiaemc.com/page/outages. The next written update is scheduled for 5 a.m. tomorrow.
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, 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.
Georgia Transmission Corporation plans, builds and maintains more than 3,100 miles of high-voltage powerlines and 650 substations that deliver electric power to 38 electric membership corporations (EMCs) across the state. Georgia Transmission and our member EMCs are not-for-profit cooperatives that serve approximately 4.1 million people in nearly 70 percent of the state’s land area. See www.gatrans.com