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17 February 2014

Georgia Power and Local EMCs Report 21K Remain Without Power Due to Ice Storm

Georgia Power and Georgia's Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) say they're working hard to restore power to about 21,000 customers who remain in the dark after last week's ice storm.

The lights are back on for 99 percent of affected Georgia Power customers throughout the state. In the Metro Atlanta area, nearly all customers have had service restored and, in the storm-battered Augusta area, less than 900 customers remained without service as of Sunday morning. One of the hardest hit parts of the state, Augusta and surrounding communities experienced more than 200,000 outages over the course of the storm.

Georgia Power says the severe weather began impacting service to their customers around 12:15AM on Wednesday, and caused approximately 701,000 state-wide outages over the multi-day duration of the storm. At the height of restoration efforts, the Georgia Power company had a total of 8,000 employees, contractors and personnel on loan from other utilities spread across the state working 24 hours a day to restore power for customers.

"Our men and women have faced one of the most disruptive storms in our history - we're extremely proud of their tireless efforts to get service restored to customers as soon as possible," said Paul Bowers, president and CEO of Georgia Power. "We want to thank our customers for their patience as we have worked around the clock to remove hundreds of fallen trees and branches, and repair lines damaged by ice and snow."

Meanwhile, the Georgia EMCs report, as of 11:00AM Sunday, approximately 20,800 customers are without power as a result of snow and sleet blanketing much of north and central Georgia. Since the storm began, power has been restored to more than 273,000 customers.

More than 330 crews from unaffected areas in Georgia and from at least seven other states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida and Kentucky are helping EMCs restore power. An additional 350 line workers are converging on the areas with remaining outages as they finish their work in other areas.

Electric Membership Corporations are public utility companies where the customers are also the owners. Profits from EMCs are typically reinvested for infrastructure improvements, maintenance, and upgrades. Collectively, Georgia's customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than four million people, half of Georgia's population, across 73 percent of the state's land area.