Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ice Storm Leaves 500K Shivering Without Power Across Southeast

Ice Storm Leaves 500K Shivering Without Power Across Southeast

NBC News | November 27, 2014

More than half a million people in the Southeast woke up to a cold and dark Thursday after the second vicious ice storm in as many weeks caused widespread power outages.

Georgia was the worst-hit state with almost 230,000 homes and businesses without electricity, according to figures reported by utility companies at 6:45 a.m. ET.

More than 200,000 customers were experiencing outages in South Carolina with 90,000 others suffering in North Carolina. Louisiana and Virginia also had thousands of people left without electricityl.

"Our customer service center is getting quite a few calls from people who have been without power for more than 24 hours in what is a cold and wet environment," Georgia Power spokeswoman Carol Boatright said. "People are getting very concerned and upset about their situation."

Boatright said almost 500,000 Georgia Power customers alone had been off the grid, but the company had managed to restore more than half of them.

"We're asking people to be patient just a little longer and for the most part they recognize that our crews are out in difficult conditions and working as hard as they can," she said.

The Southeast was suffering after being hit Wednesday by a huge storm that stretched from Alabama to Massachusetts.

But during the night, those without power were not the only people suffering: Ice and fallen trees created dangerous driving conditions for crews trying to get people back on the grid, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

"Trees continue to fall under the weight of ice on their limbs and windy conditions, and in the darkness our tree removal effort has become dangerous for our crews," said DOT state maintenance engineer Dale Brantley in a statement issued at 1 a.m. "We are concerned about their safety during the overnight hours."


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