UPDATE: Irma brings power outages, fallen trees to Athens area

Tropical Storm Irma brought Athens sustained rains and heavy winds that knocked out power lines and downed trees across the area.

 

By noon Monday, numerous locations in and around Athens were dealing with power outages and fallen trees.

Several traffic lights were out on Prince Avenue as of 11 a.m Monday because of a power outage, according to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. Authorities urged motorists in the area to proceed with caution when traffic lights go down because of outages. Treat those intersections as four-way stops.

The outage stretched from Prince Avenue to Athens Perimeter, affecting more than 1,200 Georgia Power customers.

More than 500 Jackson EMC customers were also without power along Whitehead Road in Athens as of 11 a.m. Monday.

Georgia Power customers can call (888) 891-0938 to report an outage, or visit georgiapower.com/storm.

Jackson EMC customers can call (800) 245-4044 or visit outage.jacksonemc.com.

A downed tree along Astondale Road in Oconee County was removed. The tree came down on power lines at about 8:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

As of noon Monday in Oglethorpe County, Church Street in Lexington was closed because of a downed tree blocking both lanes, Elberton Road was closed because of a wreck that also involved a downed tree, and Faust Farm Road was closed because of a downed power line, according to the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office.

More than 200 Georgia Power customers in Oglethorpe County around Yancey Road were also facing an outage as of noon Monday. Yancey Road was closed because of a downed power line, according to sheriff’s reports.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, West Lake Drive between Milledge Circle and Forston Road in Athens was closed because of a downed power line. ACCPD advised drivers to steer clear of the area until it is cleared.

As of 4 p.m. on Monday, widespread power outages were reported in and around Athens.

More than 3,000 Georgia Power customers were effected by an outage along Oak Street and Lexington Road in Athens. Another 1,200 were without power in between Whit Davis Road and the county line.

Walton EMC reported wide spread outages, with more than 3,000 people in Watkinsville, Bogart and surrounding areas were without power as of 4 p.m. on Monday.

Jackson EMC also reported that nearly 2,000 customers were without power in Athens-Clarke County.

In Oconee County, the lack of power caused many traffic lights to go down.

Signals at Butler’s Crossing and on Mars Hill Road were not working as of 4 p.m. on Monday, and the OCSO is encouraging drivers to stay off of the roads.

As of 5 p.m. on Monday, Athens-Clarke County was experiencing continued power outages.

More than 800 Georgia Power customers were without power along the Alps Road Corridor, and another 800 were without power along Tallassee Road.

The ACCPD is urging drivers to remain off of the roads due to an increasing number of down traffic signals, trees and power lines.

Police want to remind drivers that if you encounter a down or blinking traffic signal to treat it like a four-way stop sign.

Power utilities serving the Athens area announced that they had increased manpower this week in expectation of widespread damage from high winds and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Irma.

Visit onlineathens.com for updates on the storm.

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