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Hurricane Michael Brings High Winds, Heavy Rain and Power Outages

On October 10, Hurricane Michael blew into our service area as a Category 1 Storm. As it passed through overnight, it left us with 3,700 meters without power, 11 broken poles and numerous trees down on power lines throughout the service area.

As the winds rose above 60mph around 8PM on Wednesday, members began reporting outages and we reached our peak number of outages on Thursday morning. Thanks to the help of Snapping Shoals EMC, Pike, Asplundh and Tri-County EMC crews working long hours, all meters were restored by Friday afternoon.

Inside employees were taking on extra duties as well — answering outage phone calls, making sandwiches for our crews and making sure all of our out-of-town workers had a place to sleep.

“In a storm, it really is all hands on deck,” said Ray Grinberg, CEO. “It takes a team to restore power after a major storm, and our employees rose to the challenge after Hurricane Michael.”
We were lucky. While the storm affected 17% of our meters, this was nothing compared to the damage seen in south Georgia and Florida. Many cooperatives reported that 100% of there meters were without power - meaning rebuilding the majority of their systems was necessary.

“Georgia was hit hard,” said Dennis Chastain, CEO of Georgia EMC. “It was a Category 3 storm as it entered our state and left still at Tropical Storm level. EMCs in Georgia, especially south Georgia, saw unprecedented damage. In addition to power lines and substations, 100ft tall transmission lines also had major damage. This led to a difficult and lengthy restoration process.”

We appreciate the support and patience of our members as we worked to restore power. While we cannot guarantee there will not be outages in the future, we hope that we do not see another Hurricane Michael for many years to come. (32106001)