Hermine leaves thousands of Georgians in the dark

GEMA crews survey damage

ATLANTA - More than 95,000 Georgians were left without power after Hermine rolled through the state Friday.

At 3:12 p.m., Georgia Power said it was handling 1,490 separate power outages affecting more than 95,000 customers.

Most of those outages are in south and central Georgia including some 44,000 outages in Chatham County, nearly 19,000 in Glynn County and 8,500 outages in Lowndes County.

Georgia Power officials said that the Savannah area was expected to take longer to restore power because many of the lines are behind homes, which makes it difficult for crews who are carrying heavy equipment.

There were said to be around 1300 areas that could require a significant amount of work to repair, Georgia Power officials said.

Jim Butterworth, the director Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security, said that the damage hasn't been as bad as expected, and they are cautiously optimistic with where things currently stand.

"As far as extreme adverse impact, I think at one point we had about 6 road closures due to downed trees and debris," Butterworth said. "We've have some property damage, private property damage specifically in those areas."

GEMHSA is using drones to survey damaged areas.

"The value of having that live streaming video within hours of the rains stopping and the winds within limits for the UAVs, will be highly valuable and we look forward to continuing to use them," Butterworth said.

INTERACTIVE MAP | Keep track of power outages in your area

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for 56 counties. It went into effect at noon Thursday, just hours before Tropical Storm Hermine was upgraded to a hurricane.

Georgia Power sent damage assessment teams and contractors to south Georgia Thursday, and plans to follow up with larger teams today. 

Airlines have also begun to waive fees in anticipation of the storm. Click here for more info.

With 2 to 8 inches of rain possible in the southern part of the state, Georgia's Department of Transportation is making preparations. Crews are standing by to deploy in case of emergencies.

“We urge motorists to pay attention to warnings and advisories to stay off the roads due to the potential for flash flooding and downed trees,” said GDOT’s Maintenance Engineer Dale Brantley. “Our crews will work quickly to remove any dangers from the roadway, but we need to be able to get to trouble spots quickly.”

(© 2016 WXIA)


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