Irma leaves about 1.5 million customers without power

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ATLANTA - Even though the rain is moving out of the state, Georgia Power told Channel 2’s Justin Wilfon that their crews won’t be able to do much work until Tuesday morning.

That made for a long, dark night for many people across the metro, including residents of a southwest Atlanta senior living community.

As crews continue to restore power across the state, Channel 2 Action News will keep you updated every step of the way. We have complete coverage of Irma's aftermath, on Channel 2 Action News throughout the day

 “What is life like in the dark tonight?” Wilfon asked resident Rosalind Beale.

“It ain’t pretty,” Beale said.

Beale said she was trying to find her apartment at Trinity Towers, after Tropical Storm Irma turned off the lights.

She said management promised a backup generator would keep at least some power on.

Wilfon tried contacting Trinity Towers management with no luck.

“You have people with respiratory illnesses, wheelchairs, the elevators ain’t working,” Beale said.

All across the metro, the storm tore down power lines including in Decatur.


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Georgia Power crews could do little more than keep people away from the downed lines, with conditions too dangerous to start repair work.

“When the wind speeds get to a certain level, we have to pull the crews in.  It’s not safe for them to be up there,” John Kraft with Georgia Power told Wilfon.

With crews waiting for better conditions, Wilfon found a DeKalb County family trying to make the most of a night in the dark.

 “We’ve got plenty of food.  We’ve got all the neighbors over here.  The kids are playing.  We’ve just turned it into a big party,” Jessica Colclough said.

While the kids enjoyed a game of Monopoly, for many, Irma’s wrath still feels more like a rough game of life.

“I don’t think we’ll have power until lunchtime tomorrow,” Beale said.

Power crews from more than 20 states are coming to Georgia to help restore power.

But Georgia Power tells me it will be at least several more days before most power is restored.

Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant was in midtown Atlanta Monday evening when the lights started coming back on.

“The No. 1 thing that scares me the most is there’s so many old trees around here and they drop limbs like crazy,” midtown resident Matthew Robertson said.

This is an understandable fear for Robertson and his friends as the remnants of Irma tore up their midtown Atlanta neighborhood where high winds took down dozens of trees and snapped power lines leaving him and his neighbors in the dark, but with everyone safe.

“We said all right let’s light some candles let’s make the most of it,” midtown resident James Murphy said.

Jason Patrick and his buddies saw a tree fall across Penn Street in midtown. They hooked up a line to the back of his pickup and pull it out of the way.

“We had 11 transformers blow already today, and there’s a lot of fire trucks running around,” Patrick said.

Seconds later, Diamant saw one of those fire trucks drive by from the scene of a transformer fire a block away that lit up the lines.

Irma’s high winds turned downtown streets into wind tunnels, ripping large metal panels of the 34 Peachtree building’s top floors onto Peachtree Street and others nearby. The wind also bent traffic light arms 90 degrees the wrong way.

The storm left a lot of Georgia Tech’s campus with lights out.

“It happened pretty early on. I was surprised to see that the power went out that quickly…It’s still windy. It’s still very windy,” Tech student Joseph Hubbard said.

Diamant spotted a Georgia Power crew rolling through campus assessing the scope and source of the outage, but they found it still too windy to rehang any down lines.