YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Blue Ridge Mountain EMC (BRMEMC) experienced widespread outages resulting from Winter Storm Izzy that blew through our service territory Saturday, Jan. 15 – Monday, Jan. 17. Power outages began around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning and at the peak of outages 7,177 members were without power.
Outages were mainly in the Shooting Creek area of Clay County, N.C.; the eastern part of Hiawassee/Hightower area in Towns County, Ga.; and the Trackrock, Choestoe, and Suches areas in Union County, Ga. Crews worked safely and efficiently to restore power to the majority of members without power by noon on Sunday. BRMEMC’s dispatch office identified ten broken poles throughout the system. Eight of the broken poles were changed out with new poles and the remaining two were temporarily supported until crews are able to safely replace them.
The total number of outages by county on Sunday were as follows:
- Towns: 2,157
- Union: 3,622
- Fannin: 185
- Clay: 296
- Cherokee: 19
BRMEMC experienced minor fiber internet outages. “Battery backups played an integral part of keeping our fiber customers from experiencing internet outages,” said Director of Broadband Alex King. There was less than 20 fiber customers experiencing internet outages. “I commend the response time of our employees. They work efficiently and safely getting the lights back on for our members. We appreciate the local EMAs, police departments, state troopers, and state DOTs for their work in helping us prepare for severe weather as well as assisting in areas that we needed help,” said General Manager Allan Glidewell.
For more on Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, visit brmemc.com or follow BRMEMC on social media.
About Blue Ridge Mountain EMC
Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC) is a member-owned electric cooperative headquartered in Young Harris, Georgia, serving over 55,000 member-customers in Cherokee and Clay Counties in Western North Carolina, and Towns, Union and Fannin Counties in Northeast Georgia. Organized locally in 1937, BRMEMC has invested well over $300 million in physical infrastructure in its mission to provide reliable electric and broadband services to its members where those services would not otherwise have been available.