The Union Recorder

February 15, 2014

Recognize and be grateful for utility company tenacity during the storms

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Now that the ice has melted and the brunt of the Winter Storm Pax is behind most of us, regularity has resumed for the most part, sans those who are patiently waiting for their power to return.

Most residents took heed to the warnings and stayed at home, which helped to keep roadways safe and aided the cleanup efforts. No major accidents have been reported in Baldwin County, while some communities have not been as fortunate.

But it took a tremendous coordinated effort to get there and get through the storm. Before many locals got their bearings to assess the damages, local power crews and emergency and law enforcement officials were responding. They also worked around the clock to provide updates and post pertinent information online for local residents to follow and know what to do and what areas to avoid.

This week’s storms serve not only as a reminder to us all about the importance of home emergency preparedness and planning for the unexpected, but to also be appreciative of the response.

In all, nearly a million homes and businesses in Georgia lost power after the storm blanketed the region with snow and ice, but most had power restored by Friday morning.

Downed trees covered neighborhoods, along with downed power lines and broken power poles, which, coupled with the ice resulted in outages. As many of us slept and waited on the storm’s impact, emergency personnel and power crews worked through the night and into the early morning hours since to restore normalcy for local residents. Some of them leaving their own homes and families in the dark as their jobs called.

Georgia Power reported Friday that 8,000 employees have been working for the company around the clock to restore power in the hardest hit areas throughout the state. Additional workers were expected this weekend. As of midday Friday 90 percent of Georgia Power customers affected by the storm had their power restored. Tri-County EMC reported 12,400 outages remained within its coverage area during the same time period Friday.

Other surrounding areas felt an even greater impact, with damage hitting Putnam, Washington, Jones and Hancock counties among them. While there are still many without power their work in responding made a difference in the severity of the storms on this area.

Yes, there have been thousands who have been inconvenienced by this recent weather episode and, yes, there are outages that remain. Those who have been impacted have been extremely patient over the past several days as crews worked through these difficulties to restore power. As evidenced by other communities that were hardest hit, it could have been worse. Baldwin County owes a bit of gratitude to those who work behind the scenes to keep us safe when the weather elements are a threat.