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Georgia Power Storm Crews Wrap Up Historic Hurricane Season

Dec. 3, 2020
Company responded to 26 severe storms that impacted Georgia, provided restoration support for eight out-of-state requests for assistance.

With the official close of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Georgia Power crews responded to more than 26 severe weather events that impacted Georgia in a record-breaking hurricane season. The 2020 season ended with Iota, the 30th named storm of the six-month season. This is only the second time National Hurricane Center forecasters have had to use the Greek alphabet for names, with the last time being 2005.

A few weeks ago, Hurricane Zeta caused significant damage to Georgia Power's distribution system, leading to over 5700 cases of damage and impacting over 822,000 customers. Zeta's impacts were severe and were exacerbated when a strong cold front with gusty winds quickly followed behind the storm, less than 12 hours later. More than 4000 Georgia Power personnel, with assistance from out-of-state utilities, were mobilized as part of the company's restoration effort.

"We prepare every year for the Atlantic hurricane season, knowing it will be nothing like the year before. But to say the 2020 season was unique would be an understatement. We responded to 26 storm events, a record number of storms, including Hurricane Zeta," said David Maske, Georgia Power's storm center director. "Through a mutual assistance network, we know that we can assist others and they will be there in return if we need them. Our teams saw firsthand the impact of multiple storms as employees assisted other utilities across the country. We appreciate all that they've done this storm season as well as the assistance from other states, and the patience of our customers as we worked to restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

Just this year, Georgia Power crews responded to more than 22,650 outage events and replaced or repaired 8500 spans of wire — equal to nearly 400 miles of power lines.

Mutual assistance network

Georgia Power has responded to eight out-of-state restoration requests this year. The company is able to provide assistance to other utilities through a mutual assistance network, which consists of hundreds of utilities from around the country. As part of this partnership, Georgia Power is able to respond and offer assistance, providing reinforcements when needed to restore power quickly for other utilities. The company is also able to tap into this mutual assistance network if additional resources are needed to help restore power to Georgia Power customers following a major storm.

Storm response pandemic preparations

Georgia Power teams are prepared to respond to service interruptions that might occur because of severe weather while taking proactive actions including social distancing and other precautions to help protect customers and employees from the spread of the virus. The company's pandemic plans help ensure readiness of the critical personnel and facilities necessary to continue providing safe and reliable energy to its customers.

In the field, the power restoration process includes the following steps:

  • Assessing conditions: Responding crews — or in major storms, damage assessment teams — work to identify trouble spots and the resources needed to fix them, which could involve coming onto customers' property. Crews employ appropriate distancing efforts and customers are asked to keep children and pets indoors and maintain safe distances from crew members.
  • Making repairs: Crews focus on repairs that return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.

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