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Faces of the Storm: Utility Workers

Charles Mathis knows storms. The Jefferson Energy Cooperative surveyor said he had been out to work in "a lot of storms all around."

"It's been ugly since about 8:30 last night," Mr. Mathis said Friday morning as he was locating all downed lines. "The torrential downpour we had about two this morning was like nothing I've ever seen before or worked in before. It was unreal. All I can think to say is wet. I'm wet."

Dan Fowler of Jefferson Energy reported Friday morning that 750 customers west of the Thomson City limits to Highway 150 and Interstate 20 were without power, but it was in the process of all being restored that day. Jefferson Energy Cooperative linemen Vinson Brown and Don Durden said they were working non-stop, but having a good time.

"It makes a long day, but it's fun," Mr. Durden said. "We enjoy it whenever people's lights come back on - that's our reward... To be truthful, this is what we live for because we get to show our best work."

Georgia Power Area Manager Bobby Hildreth said they had 2600 customers without power during the peak of the storm, but had restored all but less than 100 by 10 a.m. on Friday morning. Mr. Hildreth said the company had 45 crew personnel from Thomson, Warrenton, Augusta and Athens working in McDuffie County Thursday night.

Comcast lineman Johnny Smith said he did not have to work extra hours on Thursday night because "we can't do our work until the power guys finish theirs." Mr. Smith said Friday looked like it would be a long day, as he "would work until the job is all done and everyone's service is restored."

Web posted on Thursday, March 08, 2007

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