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Updated statement on power outages from Amicalola EMC

newstorm zeta power outageoctober
Above, road crews working on fallen trees on Thursday morning. 
Monday Morning Statement from Amicalola EMC

Outage numbers continue to decrease for members of Amicalola EMC following devastation from Tropical Storm Zeta, currently at 4,418 members without power, but this storm is going to go down in the record books for Amicalola EMC.  It's not often that a tropical storm holds together long enough to get to north Georgia.  We love the beauty and woodlands of our rural area, but with the number of trees in our service area, 60 - 70 mph wind gusts are going to create significant damage. Our broken pole count is down at 80 and continues to rise.



Tropical Storm Zeta destroyed much of the Amicalola EMC electric distribution system in under three hours.  At the peak, we had a little under 40,000 meters (80%) of our system out.  In three days, we have restored over 35,000 of those. 


To be clear, no crews of Amicalola EMC were sent outside of our own service area. We do not send our crews away on mutual aid assignments, with a storm headed our way.   In addition, we requested assistance from outside utility companies before the storm hit our area, and crews have arrived as planned.


350 outside crew members are working up to 18-hour shifts.  Crews are following a proven, safe, methodical process for restoring power. The power recovery effort has already been long and difficult, but we are passing the stage in this restoration process, that allows us the ability to get a large number of meters restored from one repair.  Viewing our outage map shows almost every outage of the remaining 334 is either blue (1-9 members affected) or light blue (10-49 members affected). This means each repair may provide service to a small pocket of members—as few as 10 or 20, and sometimes just one or two members. Yesterday, we were able to clear approximately 150 separate outage areas, but we are entering the slower part of the restoration. 


At this time, we estimate that most of our services will be restored by Wednesday night. There is a possibility that some will take until Thursday. A list of the areas crews are working in today has been released. We will provide additional updates, if information becomes available. Real-time outage information is available on our website 24 hours a day


We know this is an inconvenience to our members, at a time when many are already struggling from a difficult year, but we are working to restore all power as soon as is safely possible.  We appreciate your understanding and we thank you for your continued patience.


 Original Story

On Friday morning, October 30th, Amicalola EMC had 31,483 customers without power, according to EMC Spokesman Stacey Fields, a full 80 percent of their service area. Amicalola EMC serves portions of 10 different counties, including Pickens. Fields said the EMC has 408 separate outages currently and that could mean “one outage with two people out and another with hundreds out.”
On Thursday,  Fields said teams identified 23 broken poles. “And that number will continue to rise” as crews get to more spots. “We have tons of help coming in,” Fields said of crews heading to the area. She said in 1985 when Hurricane Opal hit, Amicalola EMC had over 400 broken poles.
    Fields said there was "lots and lots of damage" in Pickens to power lines. “It was so widespread and we are so mountainous that that gives us challenges that urban areas don’t have.”
   Fields praised the work of power crews saying, “these guys are out there working really hard."