About 16,000 Sawnee EMC customers spent a couple of hours in the dark early Friday.
Power went out from about 1:15 to 3:45 a.m. for customers on the western side of Forsyth County.
The outage stemmed from a failed transmission line, said Blake House, Sawnee EMC spokesman.
“It was caused by a failed, or a bad, lightning arrestor on the Georgia Transmission Corporation highline, or transmission line,” he said.
“That lightning arrestor was damaged at some point, so it failed, which means it created a fault on the line and it knocked the line out.”
The failure affected four of Sawnee’s nearly 40 substations, House said, so "we saw it immediately."
An emergency response team was dispatched, House said. Call center personnel were summoned to field calls from about a thousand customers that inquired about the outage.
The outage extended beyond neighborhoods.
“Businesses, homes, churches, farms, you name it -- it was whoever was served off those substations,” House said. “We began working on it and had it back on in two and a half hours."