Lake Petit News Article

1,800 Power Line and Tree Crews En-route to Assist 2,500 Georgia Workers

Georgia Power Company
Posted: 1/9/2011

ATLANTA, Jan. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 1,800 linemen and tree-removal personnel located as close as Florida and as far as Wisconsin are on their way to assist approximately 2,500 Georgia Power crew members with power restoration efforts.

Georgia Power storm planners have been working since Friday to bring in assistance from other states due to the severity of the forecast.  Many of those coming to Georgia have received similar assistance from Georgia Power crews in recent years.  

The company expects significant outages and challenges with power restoration due to ice on roads, tree limbs and power lines.  Sleet and ice weigh down limbs – particularly on pine trees – sending them into power lines and causing widespread power outages.  Removing and clearing trees and limbs from power lines and roads can be a time-consuming task, making the restoration process even more challenging.

If the weather interrupts electrical service, customers are urged to report outages by visiting our website, www.georgiapower.com or by calling the Customer Care Center at 1-888-891-0938. This line is answered by an automated system designed to handle power outage calls quicker than speaking to a person; however, customers may also talk directly with a customer service representative.  

To learn more about how ice and snow can interrupt power, visit our website to watch an interactive video.  Major outage information will be available on Twitter @georgiapower.

Here are some safety tips for customers to follow when severe weather hits:
• Anyone with a life-threatening medical emergency should dial 9-1-1.

• 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 on the ground that may conceal downed power lines and make sure there are no downed lines before allowing children out to play. Do not attempt to make repairs to Georgia Power's electrical system or pull limbs off lines.

• Watch out for falling trees, tree limbs and power lines.

• 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.

• Be patient. When major outages occur, 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. Make sure flashlights have fresh batteries.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

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