Flint Energies is calling this power outage historic in their 80 years in business. Representatives say 33,000 customers lost power during the peak of the storm. Yvonne Thomas and Nicole Butler spoke to one man who has several power lines down on his home in Bonaire, and he's hoping that help comes sooner than later.
After a night of severe weather, Ricky Knowles clears his yard and normally loses power for a few hours. “Usually, a little wind gets this line coming off of Houston Lake Road and knocks our power out a lot,” said Knowles.
But Hurricane Irma was a different kind of storm. “I knew something was bad. I didn't know it was that bad,” said Knowles. “Power lines down. Debris everywhere.”
His power lines are down, spread across his home. It's too dangerous to move. Now Knowles and thousands of others are still without power, more than 24 hours after the storm. “I just keep putting gas in the generator,” said Knowles.
Flint Energies says in their 80 year history, they've never suffered a power loss this wide. “At the height of the storm, we had about 33,000 members without power,” said Marian McLemore, Vice President of Cooperative Communications with Flint Energies. “In one storm in 24 hours, nearly a third of our system was destroyed.”
Their biggest power outage is in Houston County. Tuesday morning, Knowles was one of 5,208 units left. “It is our process to restore power to the largest pieces of equipment first,” said McLemore. “That will turn on power to the most members as possible and then downstream until we get to the individual homes.”
Repairing the power lines could take days. “I’m just waiting on them,” said Knowles. Knowles hopes he won't have to wait much longer.
McLemore says if you're a Flint Energies customer and need to report an outage, or have a question on when your service will be restored, you can call 888-365-6836.