Georgia Power has restored power to more than 308,000 customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew – more than 90 percent of all affected customers. The company originally estimated that it would not reach this milestone until midnight Wednesday.
Less than 34,000 customers remain without power including those in some of the coastal areas with the most severe damage such as Burnside, Dutch Island, Isle of Hope, White Bluff, Windsor Forest and surrounding communities.
The path of the storm and the prevalence of large trees caused the most damage in and around Savannah. As restoration enters the final days, about 5,000 personnel remain engaged in the restoration effort and are concentrating all efforts and resources in Savannah and other remaining affected areas.
Georgia Power estimates there are more than 1,500 individual cases of severe damage remaining from Hurricane Matthew, including broken utility poles, many of which are located in remote or challenging locations. At this stage of outage restoration, work can be tedious as each case of damage may only impact service to a small number of customers.
Georgia Power estimates that damage from Hurricane Matthew could include:
· About 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 Co., 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.