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February 12, 2014

Ice storm holding big punch

MILLEDGEVILLE — With Baldwin and surrounding counties under an ice storm warning until 1 p.m. Thursday, law enforcement, emergency responders and utility providers all mobilized every available staffer.

Power companies continue working on Middle Georgia outages as the worst parts of the winter attack weren’t expected until temperatures dropped later in the day and evening Wednesday.

According to an Associated Press report, the Georgia Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid traveling until at least Thursday afternoon as snow and freezing rain continue falling in the region.

GDOT spokeswoman Karlene Barron said in a statement Wednesday that road conditions are expected to worsen overnight, and drivers are urged to avoid traveling unless it’s an emergency. Transportation officials say wind gusts of up to 30 mph are also expected to cause downed trees and power lines in some areas.

Georgia Power’s Storm Center in Atlanta has been open since Monday morning, coordinating more than 5,000 Georgia Power employees, contractors and workers from other utilities brought in to assist in restoration efforts following this severe weather. 

According to a 1:30 p.m. Wednesday press release update, there were more than 126,000 active Georgia Power customer outages in Georgia. The majority of those outages are concentrated in metro Atlanta, central and eastern Georgia. 

Over the past 24 hours service has been temporarily interrupted for a total of 192,000 customers due to the snow and ice. 

The majority of these outages have occurred since 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. Georgia Power restored power service to nearly 66,000 customers throughout the state in that timeframe.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Georgia Power’s interactive outage map showed 10 Baldwin County outages affecting 115 customers.

By presstime Wednesday, Tri-County EMC reported 93 scattered outages affecting 3,779 customers in its six-county service area. The utility’s press release blamed the issues on a combination of icy trees and wind.

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