Georgia Power has crews out all over the Savannah service area which includes not only the city of Savannah but also Tybee and Wilmington and Whitemarsh Islands, Garden City, Pooler, Port Wentworth and Richmond Hill.
During Irma about 78,000 local customers lost power. By Tuesday, that was down to 54,000 customers without power. Early Wednesday, the number had gone down to 27,000 without power and by early evening Georgia Power said that only 18,000 customers were without power.
Crews have been working 16 hour days according to Lead Lineman Donald Stevens. He says some stops can take a lot longer than expected. “We’ve been on this road right here probably for about the past four hours,” he told me Wednesday morning as he and others surveyed a tree that had damaged a power pole on East 36th Street, “You can see we’ve got a tree right across it and it tore everything down on that pole and so what we ended up having to do is rebuild that pole,”
Early assessments from Georgia Power indicate that along with other problems, up to 30 poles are damaged. Repairing one can take up to four hours.
Swan Seiler from Georgia Power says this was an unprecedented event in terms of damage statewide. At one point, up to one million Georgia Power customers across Georgia were without electricity, which is half of the company’s customer base. “So when I say this was n historic event, it really was for us,” she said.
“We have about a thousand resources in this region out and as people clean up in other areas, those resources will be directed here.”
The company says the majority of customers have had power restored and they continue to work as quickly as possible.
The company also says that in some cases, power might not be able to be restored to a home because the “electrical service entry point on the home or business, including the meter box and other components” may be damaged.
Georgia Power says it cannot reconnect service until a qualified electrician makes repairs.
The company wrote in an email “There are thousands of personnel working in the field today to restore service for Georgia Power customers. If one of these employees assesses the damage and notes that private property must be repaired, they will leave information for the customer noting the components that need attention and additional instructions if an electrician is needed. Property owners should not attempt to repair electrical components – this is extremely dangerous and could result in injury or death.”
More information about re-connection and repairs to private property is available here.