Power Up

Service restored across Coweta

by Sarah Fay Campbell

alt

Jeb Dasher and Jared Heleski, with a Georgia Power crew from Valdosta, work to repair a blown transformer on Elders Mill Road in Senoia. 


Last Wednesday’s ice storm left thousands of Cowetans in the dark, with outages ranging from less than 30 minutes to as much as five days.

Around 43,000 Coweta-Fayette EMC customers, in the co-op’s nine-county service area, were without power during some part of the storm. The most customers who were out at one time totaled about 21,000, said Mary Ann Bell, vice president of public relations and communications. Some customers saw power go out more than once because of falling trees.

Bell estimates that last week’s storm was second only to Hurricane Opal in 1995, in terms of power outages for EMC customers.

“We’ve had winter storms and tornadoes since then, but Opal did more damage,” Bell said.

There were approximately 6,300 Georgia Power customers in Coweta County who experienced power outages lasting four hours or more, said Carol Boatright with Georgia Power.

Newnan Utilities saw approximately 2,000 outages, but never more than about 400 at a time. Most outages were very short in duration, with the longest being about two hours, said Jeff Phillips, senior director of operations.

While many Cowetans got their power back on Thursday, the wait was much longer for some.

The majority of Georgia Power customers got their power back by Friday, said Boatright. A few — four or five — were without until “very early Saturday morning,” she said.

By early Saturday, there were 200 EMC customers still without power in Coweta. By 5 p.m. Saturday, that was down to 42.

Coweta-Fayette crews and contractors completed work to restore service — and all customers was restored late Sunday night, Bell said. Some customers could not be reconnected, however, until needed repairs were done to their homes.

The length of the outages was due to “the amount of time it took to clear debris and replace broken poles and wire,” Bell said. "We can't just go out and restore power to one service before the line carrying the electricity from the substation is repaired. In lots of cases, the line was repaired and another tree would fall and electricity was interrupted once again."

It took longer to restore power to some rural subdivisions than it did those that were located near substations, she said.

Bell said the major complaint that they received during the outages was that “we can’t tell them exactly when their power will be restored.”

But no power company can do that, Bell said. “It’s hard to predict how long it will take to clear lines, and replace broken poles and wire.”

Even though some customers were without power for several days, “they understood that it might take time and they appreciate the fact that they normally receive reliable service,” Bell said. “We really appreciate all of our members who have been so understanding.”

Bell said Coweta-Fayette plans to “review in great detail the storm communications information and determine if there are any potential enhancements or opportunities that will improve service to our members.

“Continuous improvement is something that is part of our work ethic,” Bell said.



More Local

Governor's widow to be buried today

The widow of Gov. Ellis Gibbs Arnall will be buried in Newnan today. Ruby Hamilton Arnall, 96, Friday. Her funeral service will be today at ... Read More


Harassed by former city employee

Torment victim challenges Senoia council

For more than two years, Pat Sharp felt like a prisoner in her own home, thanks to the actions of her next door neighbor, Joey Bigler. Bigle ... Read More


Fighting fires was CCFD chief’s dream

“I loved it,” said recently retired Coweta Fire Chief Johnny Teeters. “It was a passion that hit me in the back of the hea ... Read More


Buy One, Give One

Local clinic receives $10,000 grant

Local New York Life agent Warren Budd, with the help of his colleagues, recently secured a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from the company t ... Read More


Regional leaders taking fresh look at TSPLOST

The regional TSPLOST for this region was rejected by voters five years ago, but new legislation has regional leaders looking at options for ... Read More

NTH Turns 150

Historic local newspaper photos sought

The Newnan Times-Herald is asking readers to share stories related to the newspaper’s history as the Times-Herald’s 150th birthd ... Read More