Winter Storm: Too early to know in many areas when power will be restored

suwanee lightssuwanee iceOfficials with Georgia Power say it is too early to tell when electricity might be restored to all customers affected by the overnight ice storm.

Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright said crews are responding to numerous outages across the northern part of the state and still assessing damage to power infrastructure. That is made more difficult in the dark, and Boatright said a better assessment of the situation can happen as it gets light.

She said the company should have estimates by midday for when full power can be restored.

Crews have made headway.  About 94,500 Georgia Power customers who lost power have had their electrical service restored, the company said on Twitter about 7 a.m.

The utility reported more than 92,000 customers remaining without power about 4:45 a.m., but that number was about 85,000 customer outages remaining at 6:30 a.m.

Statewide, more than 200,000 customers are without electricity, including customers of Georgia’s Electric Membership Cooperatives. Much of the hardest hit areas are in Northeast Georgia along the I-85 corridor and to points north.

Ice storms are particularly vexing problems as they cause trees and limbs to fall and power lines to snap. And it’s not uncommon in ice storms for crews to have to return to repair areas they’ve already fixed as more trees and limbs surrender to wind and ice. During an ice storm in February 2014, AJC reporter J. Scott Trubey had this report on the types of conditions line workers face during an ice storm.

“As long as it stays below freezing … we’re looking at trees and limbs continuing to come down,” Boatright said.

The majority of the damage is being caused by downed trees, at least for now, she said.

Georgia Power expects winds to pick up this morning, and Boatright said “with the weight of ice on the lines it is going to make it worse.”

“We’re not catching a break anywhere right now,” she said.


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