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Few power outages due to weather in Forsyth County

POSTED: February 12, 2014 7:03 p.m.

UPDATE (9 p.m. Wednesday) — As of Wednesday afternoon, it appears Forsyth County has managed to avoid the widespread power outages plaguing other parts of the metro Atlanta area.

"As of right now, we have no power outages," said Blake House, spokesman for Sawnee Electric Membership Corp.

According to House, there were some service disruptions early Wednesday morning, but "those didn't last very long."

"We had a few trees that fell and knocked the lines out, but we had crews strategically placed throughout our system already, so they were able to get to them quickly and get them back on," House said.

"We currently have zero power outages so we're in great shape."


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CUMMING — As most eyes remained on the skies, others in Forsyth County were busy preparing for another symptom of winter weather — power outages.

Officials with Sawnee Electric Membership Corp., which provides service to some 70,000 customers in Forsyth County, said there have been no outages yet, and likely won’t be until ice starts to form.

“We're fully staffed and then some,” said Blake House, spokesman for the utility. “We have plenty of off-site contractors that we've called in, so we've got additional resources we've secured. We started working on this plan yesterday. We activated our emergency response plan internally.

“We let all 300 employees know that as soon as it starts, it's going to be all hands on deck. We don't go home until all of the outages are taken care of.”

According to House, snow doesn't typically cause widespread outages.

“Really the only thing you'd have issues with are people running off the road and hitting a utility pole,” he said. “If we get freezing rain of a quarter inch or more, it could cause significant widespread outages. But right now the forecast is changing in our favor.

“If things continue like this, we'll be fine today, but after midnight is when we expect the forecast for freezing rain.”

He went on to note that “there's nothing people can do to prevent a power outage.”

“What they can really do is be prepared with food and flashlights and things like that,” he said. “But also, if you have any health issues, if you're on oxygen or any life support … you want to make preparations because any time they're calling for freezing rain or an ice storm, you've got to be ready.”


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