Georgia Power is on track to have service restored to more than 90 percent of customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew, who can accept power, by midnight Wednesday. The hurricane, which pounded the Georgia coast with winds of more than 100 miles per hour and extensive flooding over the weekend, was one of the strongest storms to hit the region in a century and interrupted service to more than 340,000 customers.
The company has issued the following update on Hurricane Matthew restoration efforts as of noon Tuesday.
- The company expects to restore power to nearly 100 percent of customers who can accept power in Brunswick, Jesup, St. Simons and Jekyll Islands today. The company completed restoration efforts to nearly all customers who could accept power in Statesboro Monday night.
- Savannah was one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew. Georgia Power has restored power to approximately 60 percent of Savannah-area customers who can accept power, with approximately 56,000 customers remaining to be restored.
- Georgia Power was prepared to respond to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew with approximately 5,000 personnel from Georgia Power and assisting utilities working around the clock over the weekend.
- Power has been restored to more than 265,000 customers; approximately 70,000 customers are without power in Coastal Georgia.
- Damage and power outages remains concentrated in Coastal Georgia, including Chatham, Glynn, Effingham, Bulloch and Liberty Counties.
"With the evacuation order lifted, we continue working closely with the state and local law enforcement to expedite our travel in the area. We encourage people to limit driving on local roads as much as possible to allow our crews to move from site to site as quickly and safely as possible," said Aaron Strickland, Georgia Power Emergency Operations Director. "Our crews continue to report very hazardous conditions, including fallen trees and sustained flooding, and we ask residents to keep safety in mind as they begin returning to the area."
Georgia Power estimates that damage from Hurricane Matthew could include:
- Approximately 1,000 power poles broken or damaged.
- Nearly 120 miles of wire (3,000 spans) needing to be replaced.
- More than 3,500 fallen trees causing damage to electrical equipment.
The company estimates that thousands of customers in some of the hardest hits areas of the coast may not be able to reconnect to Georgia Power service due to extensive damage. Property owners should contact a qualified electrician to make repairs to private property prior to reconnecting to service.
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, Florida, 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.