October 23, 2020

Record outages for Carroll EMC

(Carrollton/Gradick Communications) — Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative experienced record numbers of outages due to Winter Storm Benji which began Friday at 10 a.m. with freezing precipitation and continued throughout the night and Saturday morning.

The massive storm stretched from southern Texas up throughout Maine and covered the southeast with wet snow and ice.

Parts of western Georgia received as much as 10 inches of snow in less than 12 hours damaging thousands of trees in the area and resulting in more than 27,000 recorded outages at any given time across the 6-county footprint Carroll EMC serves.

“This is the largest and most significant outage event that Carroll EMC has experienced since Hurricane Opal in 1995,” said Tim Martin, President & CEO for Carroll EMC. “We took additional steps preparing for this storm system, but the damage continued throughout the night faster than we could make repairs.”

(Photo: Carroll EMC on Facebook)

As late as Thursday, weather forecasting models were predicting 2 to 3 inches of snow with little chance of accumulation beyond grassy and shaded areas.

However, by 1 p.m. Friday, it became apparent that the system would be significantly worse and roadways were beginning to become more dangerous.

“Past experience has helped us err on the side of caution,” said Susan Lester, Vice President of Member Services for Carroll EMC.

“We knew it was time to close our offices and send administrative employees home since they have mobile capabilities and can manage outage calls from there. Unfortunately, that’s not true for linemen and operations employees.”

Carroll EMC activated Level 3 of its Emergency Response Plan, the highest level, early Saturday morning after activating Level 2 Friday afternoon. This requires all employees to be actively working and on call while allowing the cooperative to engage as many resources needed to restore power to its system safely and quickly.

By Saturday morning, more than 140 additional linemen from 8 other co-ops and 3 private firms were employed by Carroll EMC to aid in restoration efforts with the possibility of more later in the day.

The cooperative encourages all stakeholders to download its mobile app and Outage Pal from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Carroll EMC will also post regular updates and helpful information on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Carroll EMC is a Member-owned cooperative providing electricity to approximately 53,000 homes and businesses. The co-op serves Members in Carroll, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk and Troup counties.

For more information visit the cooperative’s website at carrollemc.com or follow Carroll EMC on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Carroll EMC: Community Built. Community Builder.

For more West Georgia news and information visit gradickcommunications.com.


  1. Robert Montgomery says

    Carroll EMC is Awesome!

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