The first day of spring brought highs in the low 60s Wednesday, but temperatures were due to drop below freezing overnight. The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of only 50 today and a 30 percent chance of rain and sleet tonight and into the early Friday morning hours.
“I talked with meteorologists from Peachtree City NOAA today and they think most of the precipitation will stay well north of our area,” said Tim Padgett, Carroll County Emergency Management Agency director. “There’s not much moisture in the air, so they don’t think we’ll have any problems with the sleet and snow.”
Meanwhile, Carroll EMC crews were finishing up final power restoration Wednesday afternoon, with only a few isolated cases remaining. The number of customers without power had been cut to 164 by noon Wednesday, according to Kelly Hester, Carroll EMC spokesperson.
“Within the first 24 hours, we were at 94 percent restoration,” Hester said at midday Wednesday. “By 36 hours, we were 99 percent complete and we expect to reach 100 percent before the 48-hour mark.”
Padgett said information about Monday’s storm damage was turned into state authorities, but he doesn’t think it will meet the threshold for disaster declaration.
“We had about 20 homes with damage and close to 200 to 250 calls for service,” he said.
Padgett said the heavy ground moisture, along with added weight of trees beginning to bud out, made them more susceptible to being blown over.
Hester said destruction to tress, power poles and homes was much greater than originally thought by Carroll EMC.
“This storm affected virtually every square mile of our service territory,” she said. “The initial effort is to get members’ power restored. However, this is the equivalent of 10,000 Band-Aids and we’ll spend many weeks performing maintenance on the system.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of our cooperative employees in serving our members, while many of their own families were at home without power,” said Chip Jakins, CEO of Carroll EMC. “That is the cooperative way. While there will always be individual frustration, our membership, as a whole, has been very supportive with our ability to respond very quickly to a storm of this magnitude.”
Carroll EMC received help from 23 crews from other power companies, who brought 41 linemen, 12 bucket trucks, five derrick trucks and several pickup trucks. The assisting companies included EMCs from Jackson, Walton, North Georgia, Amicolola and Snapping Shoals.
Hester said the EMC website, with its Storm Center page, and social media sites, played a major role in keeping members updated with outage information. The call center is still open at 770-832-3552.