The hurricane, one of the strongest and largest storms to strike Georgia in decades, brought high winds, heavy rain, and flooding to every county in the state and impacted service to almost a million Georgia Power customers.
By late-afternoon Tuesday, 622,000 Georgia Power customers were still without power, according to the Atlanta utility's state-wide outage map. As the storm clears the state, the company has secured additional resources and is prepared to respond with almost 5,500 personnel from the company, other Southern Company operating companies and assisting utilities identified and ready to restore power as quickly and safely as possible following the storm.
As soon as weather permitted, EMC crews descended upon hardest hit areas to begin damage assessments followed by early stages of restoration work.
Customers are urged to avoid all downed power lines and remember that unsafe electrical currents can travel through standing water and wet soil.
"Coweta-Fayette EMC will have crews working around the clock until power is restored", Phillips said. They could be electrified.
Customers around Savannah, Columbus, Metro Atlanta, etc. are now being affected by the outages.
Georgia Power reported about 50 customers in western Butts County were without power.
A spokesman for Georgia EMCs released a similar statement.
Acting on a recommendation from the state's Emergency Operations Command and ahead of heavy rains, strong wind and potential flooding from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the emergency declaration to include an additional 65 counties.
Georgia Power Mobile App - Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
During the peak hours of the storm Monday, almost 1 million customers across the state were without power. If driving, move over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road - it's the law in Georgia. The downgraded storm has killed at least one person in Georgia on Monday, the Associated Press reports.
Crews are trying to restore lines that affect the most customers first, but can't yet get to some areas. Family Services is supported by employee volunteers who are not involved with storm restoration.
But that's way down from the 16,000 Athens area customers without power a day ago.