Powering Up

Crews work to restore service

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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Eric Peace with Georgia Power attaches a new supply line to a transformer Friday in Lake Hills. 


'I love my job, so I love what I do. Dealing with the elements is part of it.

'I'm not saying it's pleasant all the time, but we enjoy what we do,' said Marty Parr, a lead lineman with Georgia Power, who worked Friday to restore power in Lake Hills north of Newnan.

Parr and his crew are from Gwinnett County. After taking care of all the outages there, they came to Coweta.

'There were more outages here, and the ice was worse here, too,' Parr said Friday.

Parr and his crew haven't been home since Tuesday night. 'We've been getting a little bit of sleep, but not a lot,' he said.

'Just a little. Enough to keep us going.'

When asked if they would be going home late Friday, lineman Eric Peace laughed.

'Who knows?' answered Parr. 'We're going to be here until the lights are on.'

Many Cowetans had their power restored by Friday afternoon.

At 3:20 Friday, Coweta-Fayette EMC had 2,963 outages across its nine-county system. That was down from 4,500 Thursday evening.

'We have all our main lines repaired and are now working on individual streets and homes,' said Mary Ann Bell, vice president of public relations and communications for Coweta-Fayette EMC.

'Sometimes this is a slow process of removing limbs from lines and repairing broken poles to individual homes.'

Georgia Power reported at 1 p.m. Friday that power had been restored to 99 percent of its affected customers in metro Atlanta.

By 4 p.m., there were only 41 Georgia Power customers in Coweta who were still without power, said Amy Fink with Georgia Power Media Relations.

'We have completed all the really big restorations,' Fink said, and most of the remaining work is for individual homes.

A total of 701,000 Georgia Power customers across the state had power restored by noon on Friday.

At 4 p.m., Georgia Power had a total of 85,000 customers without power. Seventy-five thousand of them were in the Augusta area.

Parr's crew consisted of himself, two journeymen linemen, a truck driver, and apprentices. The driver is 'very good about helping out,' Parr said.

Engineers or foremen come out and look at areas first, to determine what work needs to be done. They then communicate that information to the linemen so that 'when the crew comes out, we're prepared.'

'Georgia Power has been taking care of us. They feed us very well,' Parr said.

Being a lineman can be tough and dangerous, but 'it's a rewarding job,' he said. 'It's almost like art work. When you have something, you come out and there's poles broken and lines down. And you're trying to put those puzzle pieces back together and make them work right.'

The reward is 'seeing how happy people are when the lights come on. And the people have been great,' Parr added. 'We've had several people stop by that were very thankful. That is kind of our motivation, just to keep going and going and keep pushing.'



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