Days after Hurricane Michael hit, thousands of homes and businesses in south and southwest Georgia still don't have power.
The electric membership cooperatives (EMC's) say they have restored service to over 150,000 members since the storm hit Georgia as a category 3 storm, but the restoration process will involve many more days or up to a week or more in some rural areas of the state.
Terri Statham, Manager of Media Relations for Georgia EMC's, says repair crews are working in terrible conditions. "They have been working out among snakes, alligators in some cases," Statham told WSB. She said "They're having to row in a boat to certain locations."
Despite all the challenges, EMC's have made great strides to repair and in some cases completely rebuild portions of the transmission and distribution network.
Georgia Transmission Corp. reports 89 of the 99 electrical substations knocked out by the hurricane are now in full operation. Crews have also repaired or replaced nearly 50 high-voltage transmission lines.
EMC crews are encountering thousands of downed trees and limbs and hundreds of damaged or destroyed power poles and power lines. It takes an average of four hours to replace a broken pole, which is why it can take so long to restore power.
Statham said the damage inflicted by Michael is "Some of the worst Georgia has seen in decades."