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Crews from Southern Company service area assist Georgia Power after Hurricane Matthew
As restoration efforts began in Georgia after Hurricane Matthew, Georgia Power crews were faced with over 300,000 customers without power. Beginning on Friday, personnel from Southern Company subsidiaries began traveling east to aid in the restoration effort. About 700 employees from Alabama Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power traveled to coastal Georgia to offer help.
"The people that work these storms frankly are heroes," Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning said in an interview with CNBC, "Whether it's emergency medical personnel or line crews getting the power back on, everyone has to deal with a variety of conditions, from rain, wind, flooding and trees down to unstable structures."
Together with thousands of employees from neighboring utilities in Louisiana and Texas, crews started on Saturday night restoring power to thousands of affected customers from the Florida border to Savannah.
"We have teams working around the clock for customers across the coast," said Georgia Power Emergency Operations Director Aaron Strickland. "We were prepared for a storm of this size and are working as quickly and safely as we can to navigate hazardous conditions and make effective repairs to restore power to as many customers as possible."
At its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia Power staffed its Storm Center and Social Media Center around the clock with employees who monitored the movement of the hurricane, outage information and restoration efforts.
Questions and messages came in by the droves on social media, and staff at Georgia Power's Social Media Center engaged with customers. Similarly, the company's call centers received a high volume of calls. To keep up with call volume, Alabama Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power customer service representatives assisted by answering restoration-related questions.
From restoring power to answering customer concerns on social media, employees throughout Southern Company came to Georgia Power's aid to provide the highest quality assistance to their customers. The crews and support personnel won't stop until the last customer's lights are back on.