May Take Days to a Week to Restore Power to Nearly 900,000 in Georgia, Officials Say

September 12, 2017

Nearly 900,000 are still without power in Georgia, where officials say it may take days to a week to restore service for some after deadly Hurricane Irma. 

"We will be bringing some customers back, but it may take a couple more days, it may take over a week to get customers back on," Georgia Power spokesperson Jacob Hawkins told

By Tuesday afternoon, Georgia Power reported it had more than 500,000 customers without power and Georgia EMC reported it had more than 300,000, WSBTV reports. 

High winds downed trees and power lines over a widespread area of the state as Irma spun over the state. According to utility provider Georgia Power, more than 1.2 million customers were without power at one point on Monday, more than 75,000 of which were in Savannah and surrounding Chatham County.

In a press conference held Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal said the entire state has been affected by the storm's strong winds and heavy rainfall and recovery efforts will be slow due to the many impacted territories, FOX 5 Atlanta reports. 

Mandatory Evacuations Lifted Along the Coast

Tuesday Deal lifted all mandatory evacuations along the Georgia coast as the state continued to recover from the effects of the storm

The evacuation order impacted 540,000 people in six counties, according to the Associated Press. The mandatory evacuations were lifted after the Georgia Department of Transportation was able to inspect 49 state bridges and determine they were safe; local authorities will now have to determine if each area is safe for residents to return, the governor said in a news release.

Deal warned that cleanup from the storm, which took three lives in the state, will be "going to be a little more slow" because the massive storm touched every corner of the state.

Three Killed in Georgia

One death occurred Monday in Forsyth County when a woman was declared dead after a tree was downed on top of her vehicle, WXIA-TV reported. Authorities said the woman was in a private driveway when the tree collapsed. Both she and her husband were inside the vehicle at the time of the incident. Her husband was uninjured.

A 55-year-old man was killed in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs when a tree fell on his home Monday. Neighbors told WXIA they heard the cracking and thud of the tree and called 911.

When police and firefighters got there, they were able to enter the back side of the house and determine that the man was already dead. Authorities said the walls were caving in because of the tree's weight. The man's identity was not released.

"We have had heavy rains, which have weakened the soil, and high winds," Sandy Springs police spokesman Sam Worsham told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It’s a recipe for disaster."

A 62-year-old Worth County man was the first Georgia storm-related fatality. According to the Worth County Sheriff's Office, the man, who has not yet been identified, and his wife were riding out 40 mph sustained winds in their mobile home when they heard something hit the roof of their shed.

As the man climbed to the roof of the shed to check on damage, the shed collapsed, pinning him inside the wreckage. By the time first responders arrive, he was already deceased. 

Travel Slowly Resumes

In Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) resumed limited service Tuesday after suspending all bus, rail and mobility services Monday, reported.

At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, more than 200 incoming and outgoing flights were canceled Tuesday, according to FlightAware. While those cancellations were a headache for thousands, it was a major improvement from the situation at the hub Monday; more than 1,200 flights into and out of the airport were canceled Monday – the most in the nation – FlightAware also reported.

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