Power companies say outage numbers dwindling

The number of power outages in the Augusta area is continuing to dwindle, officials said Sunday.

Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatwright said workers are handling about 200 outages in the area as of Sunday evening, but only a handful of those outages are related to damage caused by last week’s winter storm.

“The rest are what we might handle in a regular workday,” she said.

Last week, Georgia Power handled more than 701,000 storm-related outages across the state, according a statement on its Web site. At the height of restoration efforts, more than 8,000 workers were spread to all corners of the state to aid its powerless customers.

Augusta, one of the hardest-hit cities during the storm, experienced more than 200,000 outages.

Steve Chalker, the director of public relations for Jefferson Energy Cooperative, said more than 5,500 customers were left without power as of Sunday evening, mostly in Jefferson and McDuffie counties.

“We’re hoping to restore power to all customers by Wednesday at the latest,” Chalker said. “We’ve had trucks stuck almost daily in some of the more rural areas, and that’s slowing us down.”

Jefferson Energy expects 550 additional workers to arrive Monday, Chalker said.

South Carolina Electric and Gas workers still faced more than 14,300 outages across the state Sunday evening, spokeswoman Angie Townsend said. More than 9,790 of those were in Aiken County.

“We’re estimating that 90 to 95 percent of the customers will have their power restored in Aiken County by Monday at 11 p.m.,” Townsend said.

SCE&G has 1,200 employees working outages across the state. Townsend said an additional 820 workers have been brought in to assist. “It’s important for customers to check their weatherhead and meter base for damage, as those will have to be repaired by a certified electrician before they can be re-energized,” Townsend advised.

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