UPDATE: Around 10 p.m. Wednesday evening, Georgia Power outages were finally under 200,000 customers, and the company estimated they restored power to more than 700,000 customers. Georgia EMC outages were roughly 130,000 customers.
Damage estimates from Georgia Power include: More than 1,000 broken or damaged power poles, nearly 200 miles of broken wires, more than 2,000 fallen trees and roughly 350 broken transformers.
With more than 350,000 Georgia Power customers still without power in Hurricane Irma’s wake, the company said today that it hopes to have power restored to 95 percent of its customers by Sunday.
“I’ve never seen this many outages on the system at one time,” said Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft. “There were nearly a million customers out Monday night; half of our residential customers were without power, from one end of the state to another. I’ve never seen that.”
The utility said it has restored power to 590,000 customers, more than 60 percent of those affected.
Kraft said the company is still responding to 10,000 individual cases of specific damage, including large numbers of tree removals and uprooted power poles, which has led to rumors of material shortages, such as power poles.
“We don’t know where that’s coming from,” Kraft said. “We have no concerns about material shortages. We’re in good shape there.”
“We have a massive contingent of tree contractors,” he said. “Our company’s forestry group officials are working to get those people out into the field.”
PHOTOS | Hurricane Irma damage in the metro Atlanta
11Alive received a report from a Roswell community, claiming that residents were stranded inside a neighborhood with a downed tree blocking the only road into and out of the area. Some of those residents were reported to be elderly and suffering from medical conditions.
“That is a challenge we’re facing,” Kraft said. “We’re working on those cases that are most critical to those customers. We’re working to get them free and get the repairs made. There are just so many cases and outages all over metro Atlanta and the state.”
Kraft also said Georgia Power has established mobile command centers all over metro Atlanta to deal with the outages. “We’re attacking it on all fronts,” he said.
Kraft said none of Georgia Power’s personnel or crews were in Texas, responding to Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, at the time Irma struck Georgia.