(SAVANNAH) There are still hundreds of families in Chatham County facing another night without power, more than two weeks after Hurricane Matthew. The reason some families will remain in the dark for yet another night can be summed up in three words, major storm damage. Swann Seiler, a spokeswoman for Georgia Power, says there are a trio of reasons why several hundred customers cannot be reconnected at this time. “One, their house was damaged t a degree that they can’t take service. Their meter was damaged or they had to be disconnected because their house, ah, had a fire or a flood.” said Seiler.
There are several hundred customers in Chatham County that suffered major damage, the kind that prevents the power company from restoring service without repairs made by professionals. ” Most of the time it is gonna require that the customer have an electrician come in and assist them, um, in making those repairs to their home.” Seiler said. While the customers don’t have lights yet, Seiler says they are not left in the dark about why Georgia Power can not restore their service. Utility crews leave door hangers for the affected customers. ” We leave customers that have had damage to their homes, we leave them this door hanger. It’s very clear what they need to do and the damage that we saw, um, on their property…and all they have to do is call this if they have any questions…and we will assist them from there.” said Seiler.
Seiler says Hurricane Matthew caused tremendous damage to the electrical grid in coastal Georgia. she says there were more than 3,500 trees that fell on power lines. Georgia Power replaced more than 1,000 utility poles and more than 600 transformers also had to be replaced. But Seiler says with the help of outside resources, nearly 6,000 workers strong, 95 percent of their customers were back online within four days of the storm.
While every single customer has not been reconnected to the electrical grid in this area, Seiler says they’re very close and have not stopped working to make it so. “We’re not finished yet, um, we still have people in the field. We’re still working on Matthew. Right now, we estimate that every customer that can receive power is back .” Seiler said. She adds the timetable to restore service to those still without electricity will depend on the speed of the necessary repairs to the homes and businesses suffering major storm damage.