Ice storm leads to electricity outages
Thursday, December 15, 2005, Outages for Georgia Power customers had topped 100,000 shortly after 8 a.m. today as ice formed on trees and power lines in northeast Georgia. The affected area stretches from the north metro-Atlanta counties toward Rabun County in extreme northeast Georgia, to Elbert County on the east Georgia border, and well into the Carolinas.
Georgia Power’s Storm Center reports approximately 60,000 customers are without power in the metro area. Another 45,000 outages are reported in northeast Georgia.
Additional line crews from around the state are being assigned to outage restoration
In the event of a major power outage, Georgia Power’s first priority is to restore electricity to emergency public service agencies, such as police and fire departments, and hospitals. The next priority is to restore power safely to as many customers as possible with each repair.
Here are some safety tips for customers to follow when severe weather hits:
- Residents who have a life-threatening medical emergency should call 911.
- Always avoid downed power lines. Any downed line should be considered energized and therefore dangerous. Report downed lines immediately to local public safety authorities and stay out of the immediate area. - Avoid debris laying on the ground that may conceal downed power lines and make sure there are no downed lines before allowing children out to play.
- Steer clear of Georgia Power crew work areas. Equipment and energized lines may be in the area that could create a safety hazard.
- When driving, watch for crews working along the roadways, and obey all traffic signs and directions around work areas.
- When leaving your home and power is off, turn off the main breaker as a precaution to avoid a power surge once the power is restored.
- Do nt attempt to make repairs to Georgia Power’s electrical system or pull limbs off lines.
- Be patient. When a major outages occurs, Georgia Power crews must first restore power to transmission lines and distribution circuits before working on distribution lines that feed directly to homes and businesses. However, be assured that Georgia Power crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to customers.
- Customers are reminded to be careful when using portable heaters or other supplemental heating. Never place heaters near flammable materials or where they might tip over. Use fire screens to prevent sparks and embers from causing problems.
- Customers should exercise extreme caution if using candles during a power outage. Always keep candles away from flammable objects and never leave them burning unattended.
If the weather interrupts electrical service, customers are urged to call the Customer Care Center at 1-888-891-0938. This line is answered by an automated system designed to handle power outage calls; however, customers may also talk directly with a customer service representative. The most efficient way for customers to report outages is to leave all information on this system.
In response to customer requests Georgia Power now provides an online power outage reporting system. Customers may report outages at www.georgiapower.com.
**Note to media: This service is convenient for customers to report outages using battery-powered laptops or computers at work.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, serving customers in 57,000 of the state’s 59,000 square miles. Georgia Power’s rates are below the national average and its 2 million customers are in all but six of Georgia’s 159 counties.
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