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

CSX rail maintenance closes Senoia street

CSX Railroad has reported to Coweta County officials that Seavy Street in Senoia is closed at the crossing for maintenance. The closure is e ... Read More


10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. SOME 130,000 SYRIANS REACH TURKEY ... Read More


Hopeful journey to Colorado

Seizure patient seeking medical marijuana option

In early March, the Georgia medical marijuana bill was gaining steam and giving local families hope for prescriptive treatments for seizures ... Read More


Last chance to see two performers

The Coweta County Fair continues through Saturday, but Monday is the last chance to see two of the featured midway performers. Comedy hypnot ... Read More


Industrial Park expanding along I-85

Motorists on Interstate 85 southbound between Ga. Hwy. 154 and Bullsboro Drive have likely noticed the clearing alongside the interstate, ju ... Read More

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur

Jewish High Holy Days start Wednesday

The Jewish High Holy Days start Wednesday, and Cowetans will be taking part in observances of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Congregation B&r ... Read More