Electricity restored by Thursday

Published 4:22 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Georgia Power’s Area Manager Joe Truhett said Thursday the power company had restored power to all its local customers except for four as of midnight Wednesday.

Truhett said at the height of Tuesday morning’s storm, more than 7,000 customers in the Bainbridge area were without power. All but 2,000 had their power restored by Tuesday night, and approximately 800 were without power Wednesday afternoon.

A line of commercial businesses on Shotwell Street that included Godwin’s Jewelers and Palmer Insurance Agency were without power on Wednesday afternoon, and Truhett said that area of Bainbridge suffered significant tree damage and primary wire damage. Public Safety officers directed traffic at the intersection of Shotwell and Broad streets on Tuesday and Wednesday due to a traffic light being out.

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On Wednesday, the local Georgia Power crew had an additional 62 members from Mississippi Power and 50 members from Gulf Power working in Decatur County. Those 50 crew members were concentrating on restoring power to the affected area of Bainbridge that included the Shotwell Street area.

Truhett said Tuesday’s storm caught the company off-guard as to the extent of damage. For example, if a hurricane is approaching, crews and materials can be positioned to begin restoring power when the storm subsides; however, officials didn’t expect the damage experienced during Tuesday’s storm.

“Our local crews did an incredible job,” said Truhett, who noted local crews were out by 4 a.m. and had done as much as they could by 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Also, the pattern of restoring power is to try to restore power by the method that gets the most customers back on line the quickest, Truhett said.

That equation includes other factors such as public safety issues—including restoring power to hospitals—and how much damage to feeder lines and power poles was incurred, Truhett said.

On Thursday, Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens estimated insured losses across the state from the severe weather has now reached an estimated $50 million.