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Icy conditions hamper efforts to restore power

About 3,500 customers in Jackson County still in the dark

POSTED: March 3, 2009 10:20 a.m.
Icy conditions still persist on roads in Clarke, Oconee and Jackson counties after Sunday's heavy snow, and about 3,500 residents in Jackson County remain without power.

Georgia Department of Transportation crews are continuing their work in those counties, as well as dealing with many fallen trees, officials said.

Jackson EMC officials say they are making steady progress in getting the lights back on.

The company restored power to more than 6,300 customers overnight, more than 30 percent of those who were without power in the way of the storm. In addition to the customers in Jackson County, Jackson EMC still have almost 10,000 without power in Madison County, said spokeswoman Bonnie G. Jones.

Georgia Power reports that power remains out 1,500 customers, mostly in the northeast Georgia area near Athens.

Bridges and roadways have been plowed and de-iced repeatedly since Sunday's storm dumped 5 inches or more in the area, but ice is still forming because of subfreezing temperatures.

The DOT recommends that only emergency or absolutely necessary travel occur, as temperatures are expected to remain below freezing through the morning.

While Jackson EMC officials had no estimate on how long restoration will take, crews will continue work to clear the outages as quickly as possible, working as fast as the situation and safety concerns allow, Jones said. Improved road conditions in the affected areas should help with the restoration efforts.

Jackson EMC officials said Monday's damage assessment provided a more severe picture of the storm's damage. At one point during the storm, 90 percent of all the cooperative's Madison County customers were without power.

In all, the storm knocked out power for about 100,000 customers.

Five county school systems are closed again. Counties closing schools on Tuesday were Clarke, Hart, Jackson, Madison and Oconee. In addition, city schools closed in Commerce and Social Circle. Gainesville State College will open at 12:30 p.m. today.

Staff writer Jeff Gill, executive editor Mitch Clarke and The Associated Press contributed to this report


 

 




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