ATLANTA - Line workers have been busy since Irma passed through the state of Georgia on Monday as a tropical storm. Despite losing most of its strength over Florida, the storm still put close to 1.5 million homes and businesses in the dark.
That number has been significantly reduced as power employees work around the clock to restore electricity.
The hardest hit areas, according to Georgia Power, were DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, and Hall counties. As of Saturday., 99 percent of Georgia Power customers had power restored across the state.
The Georgia EMCs said they were down to 5,600 power outages at 6 a.m. Saturday, bringing the reported statewide outage totals to just under 10,000.
For safety reasons, Georgia Power had to wait for the storm to calm down before putting its crews into the field. The first step was assessing the damage, followed by other teams that turn the power back on.
Georgia Power said it has a small army of 5,500 workers trying to restore service as fast as possible. The company also said it should once again have estimates on restoration on their online map.
A spokesperson for the Georgia EMCs said they had about 4,500 workers from 16 different states working around the clock to help restore power.
Georgia EMC started planning for Irma more than a week before the storm hit. It brought in additional crews from EMC in other states, with crews coming from as far as Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma.
Both Georgia Power and Georgia EMC ask their customers to be patient as they work to restore service. Both said their goal is to have the majority of customers back on the grid by Friday with some of the more harder hit homes that can be put back on, completely restored by Sept. 22.