As Hurricane Ophelia lingers off the Atlantic coast, Georgia Power crews are preparing to restore power to customers, should the storm cause damage to the power system in Georgia.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall along the coast of Georgia or South Carolina some time Monday or Tuesday. Georgia Powers Storm Center is monitoring Ophelia and will coordinate restoration efforts if the storm causes widespread power outages.
The companys storm teams that are currently in Mississippi restoring power after Hurricane Katrina are finishing up that work and returning to Georgia this weekend in anticipation of Ophelia. The remaining crews will report for duty Monday, ready to head to the coast to restore power.
In the event of major power outages, Georgia Powers first priority is to restore electricity to emergency agencies, such as police, fire departments and hospitals. The next priority is to restore power to as many customers as possible with each repair.
Georgia Power will restore power to its customers before assisting other utilities.
If the weather interrupts electrical service, customers may report the outage by calling Georgia Powers Customer Care Center at 1-888-891-0938. This line is answered by an automated system designed to handle power outage calls; however, customers also may talk with a customer service representative. The most efficient way for customers to report outages is to leave all information on this automated system. If youre able to access our web site, you can also report your outage at www.georgiapower.com.
Here are some safety tips for customers to follow when severe weather hits:
Residents who have a life-threatening medical emergency should call 911.
Always avoid downed power lines. Any downed line should be considered energized and therefore dangerous. Report downed lines immediately to local public safety authorities and stay out of the immediate area.
Avoid debris lying on the ground or fallen trees that may conceal downed power lines; make sure there are no downed lines before allowing children out to play.
Steer clear of Georgia Power crew work areas. Equipment and energized lines may be in the area and could create a safety hazard.
When driving, watch for crews working along the roadways, and obey all traffic signs and directions around work areas.
If possible, when leaving your home and power is off, turn off the main breaker as a precaution to avoid a power surge once the power is restored.
Dont attempt to make repairs to Georgia Powers electrical system or pull limbs off lines as these limbs may contain downed power lines that are still energized and dangerous. Georgia Power will cut tree limbs off power lines. However, homeowners are responsible for trees that hit houses but not power lines.
Do not connect portable generators to your household electrical wiring. This can cause serious injury to you and Georgia Power crews working on lines in your neighborhood. Connect only essential appliances -- such as freezers and refrigerators directly to the generator.
Be patient. Be assured that Georgia Power crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to customers.
Customers should use extreme caution if using candles during a power outage. Always keep candles away from flammable objects, and never leave them burning unattended.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nations largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, serving customers in 57,000 of the states 59,000 square miles. Georgia Powers 2 million customers are in all but six of Georgias 159 counties.