Ga. Power in Northeast
By Stephanie Johns
Georgia Power has sent about 1,200 of its employees – crew members, supervisors and engineers – to the northeastern U.S. to help restore power to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“This is the biggest contingent of folks we’ve ever sent anywhere and they’re still begging for more help,” said Linda Gantt, Madison area manager with Georgia Power. “They’re moving around and working at different places. They’re finishing jobs for one company before moving to help another.”
She said that Georgia Power has released both tree contractors and distribution contractors, or line crews, to go help as well.
Gantt added that crews still have a way to go in New Jersey and New York while the rest of the states – Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – are in the 90 percent range of being completed.
They will not reach 100 percent as some homes were damaged beyond being able to accept power service, she said, adding that Deleware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are done.
Based on status reports she receives, Gantt said that 8.5 million people were without power as of last Tuesday while 1.3 million still are without power as of 9 a.m. Monday.
Gantt explained that Georgia Power is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange and the Edison Electric Institute. As a result of those memberships, they have a “mutual assistance agreement” with other utilities to assist in restoration after storms.
“They all come south to help us with hurricane damage,” she said, noting that southern power crews generally go north to assist with damage caused by ice storms. “It’s been unusual. It’s different kind of weather that they’re not used to.”
Printed in the November 8, 2012 edition