PHOTO by Robin Postell, of Public Information Officers Paige Dukes and Ashlyn Becton, who dropped by Black Crow Media yesterday in the midst of their unstoppable storm chasing/coverage/assistance to be interviewed by our very own “Big L” for his broadcast
VALDOSTA – As life returns back to normal for most everyone in Valdosta, remember there are still some people without power and with some damage. Public Information Officer Paige Dukes sent in the latest, and probably the final, update from the Lowndes EMA.
Lowndes EMA has gone the distance to keep Lowndes County and surrounding areas up to speed on everything regarding Hurricane Michael, before, during and after. The amount of preparation leading up to the storm played a critical role in efficient management of citizens as they hunkered down for the third most powerful landfalling hurricane in recorded history.
I hope you’ve all had a few minutes to rest. Fantastic coordination, accuracy in dissemination and constant support are just a few reasons why we have the absolute best communications team! Thank you all for your efforts. Our citizens remained home, informed and safe. Please credit them in your messaging, they did an amazing job following directions and forwarding information. We do have a few messages for today. As you know, communities west of us did not fare as well. Through Georgia Emergency Management Agency protocols, local resources are responding as needed.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.
Have the best day,
City of Valdosta
More than fifty calls for fallen trees and large limbs were received by the city during the recent storm, and the city continues to get these reports after the storm. With about 3,500 scheduled customer pickups daily, the overall cleanup could take several weeks to accomplish.
Crews are working to pick up trash and recycling that was missed on Wednesday because of the storm. They ask for citizens to be patient as they catch up to their normal route schedule. Please do not call in for missed pick up if you were scheduled for Wednesday, crews will get to everyone as fast as they can.
Advanced Disposal and Deep South Sanitation will be accepting yard debris at waste collection centers. Both companies will be open Friday and Saturday 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. and Monday 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Citizens should not stack storm debris in the right of way or by the curb. Special needs will be addressed as requested.
As of this morning there are traffic signals without power across the community. Local governments have been in contact with power companies to begin restoration. No long term traffic signal outages are expected. Please continue to treat these intersections as a 4-Way stop.
Message From Georgia Power
As Hurricane Michael clears Georgia, Georgia Power begins its first day of full-scale damage assessment Thursday. There has been significant damage due to high winds, heavy rain and fallen trees in the hardest hit areas, including: Albany, Americus, Bainbridge, Macon, Valdosta, Vidalia and other areas leaving nearly 175,000 customers without power. Damage assessment marks the first phase of the restoration process and Georgia Power has crews in the field assessing damage to begin the restoration process, followed by repair crews.
Georgia Power reminds customers that dangerous conditions exist following a storm.
After the Storm Safety Tips
- Watch for downed wires. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris or fallen trees.
- Never touch any downed wire or attempt to remove tree branches from power lines – it can kill.
- Don’t step in standing water or saturated ground where downed lines may be present. They could be electrified.
- Avoid chain link fences. They may be electrified by a downed line out of sight and conduct electricity over great distances.
- Watch for Georgia Power crews working across the state. If driving, move over one lane for utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road – it’s the law in Georgia.
- Protect electronics and appliances. Disconnect or turn off any appliances that will start automatically when power returns to avoid overloading circuits when power is restored.
For more on the damage assessment and restoration process, visit Georgia Power’s YouTube channel.
Georgia Power monitored the path of Hurricane Michael prior to the storm entering Georgia. To complete restoration as quickly and safely as possible, the company mobilized 3,900 personnel from Georgia Power, other Southern Company operating companies and assisting utilities.
Tools You Can Use
- Outage Alerts – Subscribe to the free Georgia Power Outage Alert service to receive personalized notifications and updates via text message.
- Outage & Storm Center – Available at www.georgiapower.com/storm, customers can visit this site to sign up for Outage Alerts, report and check the status of outages, and access useful safety tips and information. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.
- Outage Map – Housed within the Outage & Storm Center, Georgia Power’s interactive Outage Map provides near real-time information, allowing users to see where outages are occurring across the state and track estimated restoration times.
- Georgia Power Mobile App – Download the Georgia Power mobile app for Apple and Android devices to access storm and outage information on the go.
- @GeorgiaPower on Twitter – Follow @GeorgiaPower on Twitter for storm tips, outage updates, customer service and more.
Mutual Assistant Network
When severe weather strikes, Georgia Power has access to additional resources available as part of the Southern Company system, which includes multiple electric and gas companies serving more than 9 million customers nationwide. Additionally, Georgia Power is part of a national mutual assistance network consisting of dozens of utilities from around the country, and the company is able to tap into reinforcements when needed to restore power to Georgia customers following a storm. The company has contacted and requested aid through the mutual assistance network and additional resources have been assigned.
Burning of Debris-
Local ordinances provide for the burning of vegetative yard debris in unincorporated Lowndes County on the first and third Saturday of each month, AFTER residents have obtained a burn permit from Georgia Forestry. In an effort to allow citizens time to clean their property, an extra day has been added. Unincorporated residents may burn this Saturday, October 13. To obtain a free burn permit, citizens should call Georgia Forestry at 1-877-OK2-BURN or visit http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/online-permits/index.cfm.
Donations & Relief to Affected Areas-
Those counties needing assistance may become overwhelmed with early offers for help, volunteers and donations. Emergency Management will notify citizens in the event people and/or donations are requested. Many of the communities hardest hit will need a couple of days to complete the damage assessment process before they can determine what their resource needs are. Please do not self-deploy people, goods or services to these areas. Several of the counties west of Lowndes remain under curfews. Do not attempt to enter these communities to view storm damage. A tree down on a house, is a tree down on house. Additional traffic in these areas will extend the recovery time for these communities. Thank you for being a good neighbor.