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Hurricane Matthew: Monday update
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Downed trees across power lines like this one in North Bryan County Saturday morning are slowing progress on power restoration. - photo by Ted O'Neil

Canoochee EMC customers in North Bryan County can expect to be without power until Wednesday or later, according to the company’s Facebook page.

Joseph Sikes, communications specialist with Canoochee, said about 10,000 customers in Bryan County and eight other counties, plus Fort Stewart, remain without power. That is down from 19,000 Sunday.

“Crews will work well into the night,” Sikes said. “They will be back on the job before daybreak trying to restore power to as many homes and businesses as soon as possible.”

Sikes said broken poles, downed trees, debris and standing water have slowed progress.

“The public’s patience is much appreciated,” he added.

A separate Facebook post showed a video of crews working on Highway 204 in North Bryan and said “broken poles for miles.”

Sikes also said Canoochee’s annual meeting, originally scheduled for Tuesday, will be postponed as they focus on repairs.

“The board decided that it was important to keep focus on the outage restoration,” he said.

Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook said most of the downtown area has power, although city hall and the fire department does not. Parts of North Bryan are served by Georgia Power as well as Canoochee.

“My son and daughter live next door to each other and one has power and the other doesn’t,” Cook said.

She added that aside from power issues the area fared well.

“We’re doing better than expected,” she said. “Our water and sewer is working and we’re cleaning up.”

Cook said department heads are meeting later to assess their next steps. A decision on tonight’s city council meeting depends on if city hall gets power back.

As of 8 a.m., about 2,000 customers in South Bryan County remained without power, down from a high of about 13,000 Saturday.

As the recovery continues, Bryan County Emergency Services is asking for assistance in determining how much damage occurred. Chief Freddy Howell said people can post pictures and videos to their Facebook page. He added that also applies to people who may have already cleaned up and have a pile or piles in their yards.

A countywide burn ban remains in place, however, and anyone found burning debris will be cited.

Howell also said people who need assistance cleaning up debris on private property can contact his office at (912) 858-2790 or (912) 858-2799.

“We are trying to activate a program to be able to help with debris cleanup on non-county owned property,” he said. “We will need homeowners to sign paperwork saying it is OK for crews to work.”

The assistance will come from the Georgia Baptist Convention Disaster Team.

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