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Wednesday morning power outage update
Hurricane Matthew 011
Utility crews continue working to restore power. - photo by Ted O'Neil

About 1,300 Bryan County customers remain without power this morning, down from 3,900 Tuesday morning.

As of 9 a.m., about 95 Coastal Electric customers in South Bryan were without power, primarily along the Highway 144 Spur. Another 180 Georgia Power customers in South Bryan do not have electricity.

Some 800 Georgia Power customers in North Bryan are without electricity, plus another 225 Canoochee EMC customers.

More than 16,000 customers were without power Monday after Hurricane Irma passed.

Most of the outages are from fallen trees that either broke or pushed against service lines. Some of the outages are due to power lines being disconnected while repairs are made to feeder lines, substations and transformers that were damaged.

A similar number of customers countywide lost power after Hurricane Matthew hit last October, but even after a week more than 10 percent of them still did not have power due to the number of trees that broke electrical lines and high winds that snapped utility poles. This time around, several neighborhoods with underground wiring had power restored Monday within hours.

"We felt very well prepared for Hurricane Irma, as the lessons learned just 11 months ago from Hurricane Matthew were fresh on our minds," said Chris Fettes, vice president for engineering and operations for Coastal Electric. "We've always had disaster recovery plans, and we conduct a tabletop model every year to practice, but Hurricane Matthew was real. The valuable experience we got from Hurricane Matthew made us feel we were ready for whatever Irma might have sent our way."

Fettes added that the mandatory evacuation ordered by Gov. Deal helped get so many customers back on line quickly. Bryan County Emergency Services and the Richmond Hill Police Department encouraged evacuees not to return until the all-clear was given and encouraged those who stayed behind to stay off the roads following the storm.

"Because of the way our local governments handled the evacuation process, we were able to work more quickly and safely, with little traffic on the roadways." Fettes said. "Our members have been patient, and have expressed much praise for our linemen. It encourages them to press on and do the job they love to do."


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