ATLANTA -- It's the question on many peoples' minds after Tropical Storm Irma blew through and knocked out power throughout the entire state: When will I get the power back?
Georgia Power crews are trying to restore power as quickly as possible and working around the clock to try to make repairs. It was too dangerous for them to be out in the storm yesterday, but now that high winds have died down, they're focused on one task.
"We watched this storm and prepared for it days in advanced," said Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft. "Now that it's passed through we are getting out there and making those assessments to make sure we can do this in a systematic way."
As of 4:56 a.m., 349,323 Georgia Power customers across the state were still experiencing outages, many of them concentrated on the coast and metro Atlanta. Another 235,429 Georgia EMC customers were also without power.
Kraft said unlike Hurricane Matthew, which was concentrated on the coast, there really wasn't a part of the state that wasn't affected by Irma.
"This came completely across the state," he said. "It's still really a state-wide effort."
Since Monday, Kraft said Georgia Power has restored power to 400,000 customers, with more to come in the days ahead. All of the companies 6,000 crews have been mobilized, some from as far as California and Washington, and they didn't send any crews to Florida and Texas in anticipation of the storm.
As to when communities will be able to turn their lights on again, Kraft said there still in the "assessing conditions" phase, meaning they're waiting on crews to look at the damage before giving an accurate timeline of when repairs can be made. After that, they'll be prioritizing a response to areas based on what will make the biggest impact.
"What would get the biggest number of customers back on in the shortest amount of time," he said.
They also take into consideration places near critical infrastructure. That means communities near hospitals, water-pumping stations and things like that may see their power sooner. Everyone else, it could take up to a week.
"People are frustrated when they're the isolate outage, we understand that, but we try to focus our resources," Kraft said. "Sometimes in this kind of storm, it's a matter of, can we get to it?"
If you have a specific question, you can talk to the social media center via Twitter or call the automated outage line at 888-891-0938.
GEORGIA POWER OUTAGE MAP | http://bit.ly/2jhSnIc
GEORGIA EMC OUTAGE MAP | http://bit.ly/2xVx29J
REPORT AN OUTAGE | Georgia Power: http://bit.ly/2jgwh94
REPORT AN OUTAGE | Georgia EMC: http://bit.ly/2gXMEmn
IF YOU SEE DOWNED POWER LINES | Call 1-888-891-0938