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Georgia Power storm crews wrap up historic hurricane season

Source: 
PR Newswire

ATLANTA, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With the official close of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Georgia Power crews responded to more than 26 severe weather events that impacted Georgia, in a record-breaking hurricane season. The 2020 season ended with Iota, the 30th named storm of the 6-month season. This is only the second time National Hurricane Center forecasters have had to use the Greek alphabet for names, with the last time being 2005.

Georgia Power logo. (PRNewsFoto/Georgia Power)

Five weeks ago, Hurricane Zeta caused significant damage to Georgia Power's distribution system leading to over 5,700 cases of damage and impacting over 822,000 customers. Zeta's impacts were severe and were exacerbated when a strong cold front with gusty winds quickly followed behind the storm, less than 12 hours later. More than 4,000 Georgia Power personnel, with assistance from out-of-state utilities, were mobilized as part of the company's restoration effort.

"We prepare every year for the Atlantic hurricane season knowing it will be nothing like the year before, but to say the 2020 season was unique would be an understatement. We responded to 26 storm events, a record number of storms, including Hurricane Zeta," said Georgia Power's Storm Center Director David Maske. "Through a mutual assistance network we know that we can assist others and they will be there in return if we need them. Our teams saw firsthand the impact of multiple storms as employees assisted other utilities across the country. We appreciate all that they've done this storm season, as well as the assistance from other states and the patience of our customers as we worked to restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

Just this year, Georgia Power crews responded to more than 22,650 outage events and replaced or repaired 8,500 spans of wire equal to nearly 400 miles of power lines.

Mutual Assistance Network

Georgia Power has responded to eight out-of-state restoration requests this year. The company is able to provide assistance to other utilities through a mutual assistance network, which consists of hundreds of utilities from around the country. As part of this partnership, Georgia Power is able to respond and offer assistance, providing reinforcements when needed to restore power quickly for other utilities. The company is also able to tap into this mutual assistance network if additional resources are needed to help restore power to Georgia Power customers following a major storm.

As the 2020 hurricane season ends and winter weather season begins, Georgia Power encourages customers to keep safety first, no matter the storm season with the following tips:

  • Before a Storm: Stay aware and check the weather forecast before heading outdoors. Make plans for vulnerable family members who might have difficulty in a power outage. Turn off large appliances as power surges can overload them and charge cell phones in case you lose power.
  • During a Storm: Take safe shelter inside a sturdy building away from windows and doors. Avoid contact with conductors of electricity - appliances, metal objects and water.
  • After a Storm: Never touch any downed or low-hanging wire, including telephone or TV wires that touch a power line. Never pull tree limbs off of power lines yourself or enter areas with debris or downed trees as downed power lines may be buried in wreckage.

Storm Response Pandemic Preparations

Georgia Power teams are prepared to respond to service interruptions that might occur because of severe weather while taking proactive actions including special "distancing" and other precautions to help protect customers and employees from the spread of the virus.

In addition, the company's comprehensive pandemic plans help ensure readiness of the critical personnel and facilities necessary to continue providing the safe and reliable energy customers expect and deserve.

In the field, the power restoration process includes these key steps:

  • Assessing Conditions – Responding crews – or in major storms, damage assessment teams – work to identify trouble spots and the resources needed to fix them, which could involve coming onto customers' property. Crews will employ appropriate distancing efforts and customers are asked to keep children and pets indoors and maintain safe distances from crew members as well.
  • Making RepairsGeorgia Power crews focus on repairs that return power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.

Ways you can help keep workers safe while they work in the field:

  • If you see utility crews, please stay back a minimum of six feet – much more if they are working.
  • Please, no cookies or treats for workers during this time. Give a wave or thumbs up to workers you see. They'll understand your gratitude as they work to keep the lights on.
  • Don't touch utility trucks or equipment. Electric providers are operating under modified conditions to keep workers safe, which includes additional cleaning and sanitation of tools and equipment.

About Georgia Power

Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is recognized by J.D. Power as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).

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SOURCE Georgia Power

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