7 p.m. Update: Power restored to nearly 741,000 Georgia Power customers after Hurricane Zeta's path through Georgia

ATLANTA, Oct. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia Power continues restoration efforts and has already restored electric service to nearly 741,000 customers following Hurricane Zeta. As of 7 p.m. Friday, approximately 129,000 customers are without power across Georgia. The company is working as safely and quickly as possible to restore power to customers.

Based on the impact of Hurricane Zeta across the Southeast and other storm activity in the country, the availability of additional resources from other utilities to assist with restoration efforts in Georgia is limited. The company will continue updating regional restoration estimates as often as possible and as additional resources from other utilities are secured. Currently, the company has secured resources from 14 states to support restoration efforts.

Damage from Hurricane Zeta is widespread and covering the northern half of the state and is similar to the damage seen after Hurricane Michael in 2018. As Hurricane Zeta crossed through the state, Georgia Power's service territory experienced wind gusts of up to 75 mph for more than two hours, along with sustained winds of 25-40 mph for more than five hours straight. Teams continue experiencing challenges including downed trees and roads blocked that must be cleared to enter certain areas.

75% damage currently assessed from Hurricane Zeta:

    --  Over 500 broken poles
    --  More than 1,600 spans of wire down
    --  More than 120 damaged transformers
    --  Hardest hit areas include the Atlanta area, Northeast (including
        Gainesville, Toccoa, Cornelia, and Northwest (including Rome, Carrollton
        and Cartersville)

While the company continues to assess damage, customers in the hardest hit areas should plan ahead for the potential of extended outages, possibly days, due to the vast damage from the storm.

The company will continue updating estimated restoration times as they become available.

Restoration progress since the beginning of the storm has been largely possible thanks to Georgia's advanced electric grid, which allows the company to reroute and restore power even when weather conditions prevent work in the field, as well as early work of crews. All of Georgia Power's teams are in the field today working to assess damage and restore power.

In the field, the power restoration process includes these key steps:

    --  Assessing Conditions - Responding crews - or in major storms, damage
        assessment teams - work to identify trouble spots and the resources
        needed to fix them, which could involve coming onto customers' property.
        Crews will employ appropriate distancing efforts and customers are asked
        to keep children and pets indoors and maintain safe distances from crew
        members as well.
    --  Making Repairs - Georgia Power crews focus on repairs that return power
        to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.

Damage Update - As of 7 p.m. Friday

    --  Power has been restored to nearly 741,000 Georgia Power customers across
        the state.
    --  There are approximately 129,000 Georgia Power customers currently
        without power.
    --  Approximately 3,500 cases of individual damage or trouble.
    --  Damage and outages are widespread and across the northern half of the

The company encourages customers to keep safety first following Hurricane Zeta:

    --  Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or
        fallen trees.
    --  Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from
        power lines - it can kill.
    --  Don't step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may
        be present. They could be electrified.
    --  Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of
        sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
    --  Watch for Georgia Power crews working across the state. If driving, move
        over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road -
        it's the law in Georgia.

About Georgia Power
Georgia Power is the largest electric subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), America's premier energy company. Value, Reliability, Customer Service and Stewardship are the cornerstones of the company's promise to 2.6 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties. Committed to delivering clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy at rates below the national average, Georgia Power maintains a diverse, innovative generation mix that includes nuclear, coal and natural gas, as well as renewables such as solar, hydroelectric and wind. Georgia Power focuses on delivering world-class service to its customers every day and the company is consistently recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as an industry leader in customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.GeorgiaPower.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).

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SOURCE Georgia Power