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Sawnee EMC urging customers to conserve power
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Update: 12/24 9:00 a.m.

Sawnee EMC is asking customers to conserve power whenever possible. In a post on their website the utility says that they have been advised that the power system is being stressed to very high levels. In order to avoid power outages and service disruptions they are asking people to conserve energy wherever they can..

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Sawnee EMC is urgent customers to conserve energy until temperatures begin to rise.

Blake House, Vice President of Member Services for Sawnee EMC said the utility  will reach out to Sawnee EMC members with additional information if the situation escalates.

Emergency crews continued to monitor the situation as cold weather struck Forsyth County for the holiday weekend.

Starting early on Friday, Dec. 23, temperatures fell into the teens, with a projected overnight low in the single digits on early Saturday, Dec. 24. Weather projections show Forsyth County is not expected to have above-freezing temperatures until Christmas Day.

“We expect to stay below freezing for close to 72 hours. So, right now, we’re not even 24 hours into that,” Forsyth County Emergency Management Director Chris Grimes said on Friday afternoon. “I think people need to stay vigilant, try to stay warm and hopefully it will start warming up this week.” 

Grimes said despite the rain on Friday morning he was not aware of any reports of black ice in the county.

“It does appear that the forecast held with what we anticipated,” he said. “As the wind came in last night, it dried the roadways, so I’m not aware of any reports of black ice this morning.”

Instead, Grimes said the biggest issue caused by the storm was bringing trees down on roads and power lines.

“I think at this point the biggest thing we have dealt with today is trees that have come down,” he said. “We have probably had between 15 and 20 tree-down calls that have either temporarily blocked roadways or been on power lines. We’ve been in touch with Sawnee and Georgia Power throughout the day.

“Their outages both have fluctuated as we go through the day, but they’ve got crews out working, trying to get people’s power back on as quick as possible.”

In online updates on Friday, Sawnee reported outages, including a peak of more than 1,500 members in the seven-county service area being affected. All Sawnee outages in Forsyth County had been cleared as of press time.

As of 5 p.m. on Friday, Georgia Power reported one outage affecting 33 customers.

As cold weather continues, Grimes advised that power outages could continue and recommended that residents have a plan for the weather.

“I think now it’s just continuing to make sure that people bring their pets in tonight, like most people did, and watch their homes, make sure that they take preparations that we shared earlier in the week and make a plan in case the power goes off,” he said. “We’ve seen trees come down, people lose power temporarily, so make sure you have a plan if the power goes off.”

Other cold weather tips include capping spigots and letting faucets drip to protect against pipes freezing, only using indoor-approved space haters and keeping items in the car to deal with cold weather for those traveling.

For more up-to-date information on this Christmas weekend’s weather, visit the National Weather Service at

Forsyth County government will also be posting weather updates on social media and its website at Other emergency tips can also be found at the county’s website.