ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia utility companies report that more than 350,000 customers in the state were without power Thursday, as the total number of customers who lost power since the storm began approached 700,000.
Georgia Power says more than 460,000 customers lost power since the storm began, and about 237,000 of them were without power early Thursday.
Also, the state's electric membership cooperatives, or EMCs, say that about 129,000 of their customers were without power as of early Thursday afternoon. Authorities say power has been restored to more than 131,000 customers of the EMCs since the storm began.
The numbers have been fluctuating as crews restored power and new outages were reported.
Excelsior EMC, an electricity provider in which provides service to roughly eight rural counties including Candler, still has about 225 outages with about 4,000 customers affected. A company spokesman said they expect the outages to continue through Friday and Saturday. The company serves more than 22,000 customers and at one point Wednesday had more than 5,000 customers affected.
Excelsior EMC has called in 13 crews from other EMCs to help with the overload.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Georgia's electric membership cooperatives are reporting an estimed 124,000 customers without power as a result of snow and sleet blanketing much of north and central Georgia, according to the Coastal Electric Cooperative. More than 220 additional crews from unaffected areas in Georgia and from at least 7 other states are helping EMCs restore power. There are currently no outages on the Coastal Electric Cooperative system, according to J. Mark Bolton, vice president, of communications for the Coastal Electric Cooperation.