Georgia experienced more than 950,000 power outages following tropical storm Zeta, which was downgraded from hurricane status after it landed on the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday.
According to PowerOutage.US, a total of 957,739 power outages were reported in Georgia at the time of reporting, mostly in the northern half of the state.
At least 626,530 customers of Georgia Power, the company that supplies electricity to approximately 2.6 million customers in 155 of the state’s 159 counties, were without power on Thursday.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Georgia Power warned: “Due to the already saturated soil and possible strong winds, Zeta is likely to knock over trees, which could lead to power outages. Customers are encouraged to use this time to prepare and keep an eye on safety when they are threatened by potentially dangerous conditions and storm damage.
“Georgia Power is actively monitoring the storm and is coordinating with its sister power companies, emergency partners, including GEMA [Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency] and the mutual support network consisting of dozens of utilities from around the country.
“Whenever assistance is requested, the company ensures that it has sufficient coverage to respond to any local service disruptions,” the company stated.
More than 1.4 million power customers without electricity in the southern United States. 1 million are currently affected by hurricane “Zeta” and 390,000 are affected by a winter/ice storm. Check https://t.co/8cAFt3zGJe for information about #PowerOutage!
[2020/10/29 12:30 AM CDT] pic.twitter.com/eHsPALACE
– PowerOutage.us (@PowerOutage_us) October 29, 2020
Tens of thousands of Sawnee EMC customers have also been left without power. In a Thursday post on Twitter, Sawnee EMC noted, “More than 75,000 meters are without power as tropical storm Zeta hits our territory. This primarily affects 4 substations and 19 power circuits. Recovery time in a storm of this magnitude will take some time”.
Jackson EMC and GreyStone Power each report about 50,000 to 56,000 customers without power, as of Thursday.
GreyStone Power warned on Thursday: “The numbers of power outages continue to rise in short periods of time. We now have more than 56,000 members without power. When daylight comes, we will be able to see the extent of the damage to our lines even more clearly,” in a post on the Facebook page.
“We will work as quickly and safely as possible to reconnect everyone, but some restorations could be lengthy. We will continue to monitor the restoration efforts and keep you as well informed as possible,” the company added.
Jackson EMC has experienced at least 50,744 outages, the company confirmed in a statement Thursday.
Nearly 2.5 million people are now without power, according to https://t.co/GNkv1WkFtr, mainly because of #HurricaneZeta … now more than a million of them in Georgia. The numbers will continue to rise in the coming hours, especially in Georgia and the Carolinas… pic.twitter.com/29p5JlcfsQ
– Cody Matz (@CodyMatzFox9) October 29, 2020
“Strong winds and gusts have caused a considerable number of trees and branches to fall on power lines, resulting in power cuts.
“Wind speeds of 35-45 mph [miles per hour]have been recorded in our service area. The line installers will work to resolve the outages as quickly as possible, as conditions and safety procedures permit. Sustained winds can cause the number of power outages to increase during the day and into the evening,” the statement said.
According to PowerOutage.US, approximately 2.2 million blackouts were reported by Thursday in Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi.
Tropical storm Zeta continues to generate damaging winds in the southeastern region of the country, according to the latest report from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Thursday.
“The maximum sustained winds are 95 km/h (60 mph) with higher gusts. Zeta is expected to become a non-tropical storm surge later today. The low should be absorbed by a frontal system over the western Atlantic by Friday evening,” warned the NHC.