Utility crews repairing snapped power poles as fast as they can

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HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Crews are busy replacing broken transformers and power poles to get electricity flowing again to storm victims.

Severe Weather Team 2’s Brian Monahan watched on Wednesday as crews worked to put those poles in the ground in Hall County.

Monahan met Scott Kirk and his family on their front porch Wednesday afternoon. They had been without power for two days and counting.

"Ready for it to come back. We need to know if we need to check into a hotel or not. I'm good, but you know, the wife and kids, no internet, that's really tough on teenagers these days," Kirk said.

Channel 2’s Brian Monahan watched on Wednesday as crews worked to put those poles in the ground.
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But the wait for Kirk and his neighbors wouldn’t be much longer.

Late Wednesday afternoon, repairs were underway on the power pole and transformer smashed by more than 50 mph wind gusts Monday from Irma.

Just an hour earlier, Monahan spotted the same crew working on another downed pole. It was one of 125 poles in Jackson EMC's system that were toppled by Irma, leaving more than a 100,000 people in the dark at the height of the storm.

Mark Owen with Jackson EMC told Monahan the process of restoring power can't even start until each scene is safe.


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"One of the first obstacles to restoring power in a situation like this is simply removing the trees and the lines that have caused the power to come down in the first place," Owen said.

From there, crews work to repair damage that gets the greatest number of customers back online in the shortest amount of time.

That's why lines that serve fewer customers may take longer to repair.

"We know people get frustrated sometimes when a truck drives by and it doesn't stop at their house, but they are following a system and they are working to get everyone back on as quickly as possible," Owen told Monahan.

By the end of the day, Jackson EMC said it expected that most of their customers would have their power back.

One of those customers was Craig Clark. He was ready for his power to be back.

"Thrilled to death. Finally can get some sleep once the power gets turned back on," Clark told Monahan.

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