Coastal Georgia residents return after hurricane - CBS46 News

Coastal Georgia residents return after hurricane

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SAVANNAH, GA (CBS46) -

Georgia Power announced that it expects to have service restored to more than 90 percent of customers impacted by Hurricane Matthew by midnight Wednesday.

The hurricane, which pounded the Georgia coast with winds of more than 100 mph and extensive flooding over the weekend, was the strongest storm to hit the region in a century and interrupted service to more than 340,000 customers.

As of Monday afternoon, everyone's electricity was restored in Kingsland and Georgia Power expects to have power restored for nearly 100 percent of impacted customers in Statesboro by Monday night, with Brunswick, St. Simons and Jekyll Islands following on Tuesday.  

Georgia Power was prepared to respond to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew with approximately 5,000 personnel from Georgia Power and assisting utilities working around the clock over the weekend. Power has been restored to more than 240,000 customers, but approximately 100,000 customers were without power in Coastal Georgia on Monday afternoon.

Damage and power outages are concentrated in Coastal Georgia, including Chatham, Glynn, Effingham, Bulloch and Liberty Counties.

Places like Tybee Island started allowing residents and contractors across the bridge Monday morning.

Saint Simons was closed for a longer period of time due to an issue with the island's sewer system.  Parts of it run on electricity, and without power, waste water may back up into the street.

“With the evacuation order lifted, we are working closely with the state and local law enforcement to expedite our travel in the area. We encourage people to limit driving on local roads as much as possible to allow our crews to move from site to site as quickly and safely as possible,” said Aaron Strickland, Georgia Power Emergency Operations Director. “Our crews continue to report very hazardous conditions, including fallen trees and sustained flooding, and we ask residents to keep safety in mind as they begin returning to the area.” 

Georgia Power estimates that damage from Hurricane Matthew could include:

Approximately 1,000 power poles broken or damaged.

Nearly 80 miles of wire (2,000 spans) needing to be replaced.

More than 1,800 fallen trees causing damage to electrical equipment.

Utilities from other states, including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, are currently in Georgia working alongside Georgia Power crews to restore service for customers.  

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