Georgia Power crews working to restore electricity - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia Power crews working to restore electricity

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Georgia Power estimates 78,000 customers were without power at the height of Hurricane Irma, but linemen are working as fast as they can to get it back on.

A total of 1,000 workers are here to work on lines, and Georgia Power lead lineman Donald Stevens everyone is working extended shifts since Hurricane Irma.

"Everybody right now is on 16 hour days," Stevens said. "We come in a 6 o'clock in the morning, and we get off at 10 o'clock at night."

Stevens said many homes in Savannah still have electrical lines and poles in backyards, which makes accessing them with large equipment more difficult and more time consuming.

"You pretty much just about have to walk to every house or every pole in the backyard and look and make sure that their service to their houses are up before you energize anything," he said.

Swann Seiler, manager of Corporate Communications for Georgia Powe, said with day crews working longer hours and two-person crews are doing smaller jobs at night, they're working as fast as they can.

"We know that it's frustrating," she said. "We know people want that normalcy in their lives. We know they're frustrated and tired having traveled away and coming back home, and we sense that. So we're working just as hard as we can to get it back up."

As of Wednesday, Seiler said crews have restored power to 65 percent of people who lost it.

"Earlier, I had somebody ask me, 'Does your wife even know you this week?' I told her all I get is a kiss and a goodnight,," Stevens said. "After it's all over with, it'll seem like we'll need a good sleep for 24 hours."

Stevens said if a customer sees a crew outside or in a backyard, know they are looking at the power lines.

"We have a lot of customers that ask questions," he said. "I mean, that just takes a minute of your time, so that minute of your time you able not to do anything. So that would help if we didn't have so many customers asking, 'when my lights gonna be on? When my lights gonna be on,' you know? But it's a concern to them because they've been out of light for awhile."

Stevens knows personally how those customers who are still without power feel.

"When I got home, my lights were out last night, so just I have to wait until whoever gets back over there to put the lights on for me," he said.

Georgia Power estimates 95 percent of power will be restored to customers across the state by Sunday.

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