• Georgia communities clean up day after Irma sweeps through

    By: Aaron Diamant , Liz Artz , Tom Regan

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Irma may be through Georgia, but the storm left behind a trail of damage across the state.

    The majority of the damage was downed trees which took out power to hundreds of thousands of people. At the height of the storm, more than 1 million customers did not have power.

    Several school districts will remain closed Wednesday as clean up from the storm continues.

    Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant went to the Georgia Power command center in Atlanta where crews are working overtime.

    Georgia Power’s CEO said it may take some time before electricity is back to customers.

    “Every region in the state has been affected and it's going to take time for us to get back to normal in terms of power restoration,” said Georgia Power CEO Paul Bowers. 

    Georgia Power truck
    WSB-TV

    Officials told Diamant that they won’t have the entire scope of the work until crews remove the trees that were downed in the storm.

    Many of the trees fell in DeKalb County, where officials said it was the hardest hit county in metro Atlanta.

    Channel 2’s Liz Artz spoke to the DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency’s director who said block after block of power lines were taken out by falling trees.

    Susan Loeffler said she is meeting with school leaders, smaller municipalities, hospitals and other county officials working on a plan to get the streets cleared and the county running again, but she said safety is a concern even for first responders. 

    DeKalb County tree down on power lines
    WSB-TV

    Some residents said they have been without power for 24 hours.

    "We have a generator, have several 20 by 20-foot tarps, canned food ready to be eaten without power for a week,” said resident Mark Benoit.

    Loeffler said she doesn’t expect the power to be back on fully in DeKalb County for four or five days.


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    In Cherokee County, crews have been out since Monday night to clear their roads of storm debris and fix utility lines downed by trees.

    Channel 2’s Tom Regan traveled to Ash Road where crews had just finished cutting through a tree that was blocking the road.

    The EMA director for the county told Regan that there were about 10 locations where trees blocked roads.
    It’s a frustrating situation for a lot of drivers in the area.

    "A lot of branches down, things of that nature, creating hazardous situations for driving of course trying to get from one site to another has been quite of a challenge," said driver Michael Marjenoff.

    Falling trees knocked out power to tens of thousands of customers in Cherokee County. Some were without power for many hours. 

    "We have seen Georgia Power trucks go by all night, but we haven't had any power since about 7:00. My phone has been about 25 percent and I haven't been able to charge it since them," resident Logan Bobo said. 

    Utility crews are asking those affected by power outages to be patient. 

    Despited all of the fallen trees, emergency management officials said they haven't had any reports of injuries.

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