Memories remain after dust settles at Plant Branch smokestack demolition

A towering landmark on Lake Sinclair is no more.

Drone video of Saturday's controlled demolition in Milledgeville. Submitted by viewer Tommy Cook

A towering landmark on Lake Sinclair is no more.

Georgia Power knocked down the tallest smokestack at its defunct Harllee Branch Power Plant on Saturday morning.

After a quick warning and a bang, the smokestack came tumbling down -- falling to one side.

“When it came down, we could feel the rumble and the vibration in the ground, and you could hear it clearly,” said 13-year-old Jacob Conner.

Conner was just one of the hundreds of people who caught one final glimpse of the towering landmark. For him, it's what he looked for in signifying that he was close to his weekend retreat.

“You know like (we) were getting close to being at the lake where we can finally relax, we can forget about the week,” said Conner.

Jacob isn’t the only one who used it for a beacon. Richard Meeks has lived in Milledgeville his whole life.

“Anytime you got within 20 or 30 miles of this area, if you were on the slightest hilltop, especially at night, you could see the lights flashing. You knew you were almost home,” said Meeks.

Meeks didn't work at the plant himself, but knew many people who did in the plants 50-year lifespan.

“At its peak there were four units at this site. This was Georgia’s first 1,000 megawatt generating site, so it’s an iconic plant. It produced a tremendous amount of power for Georgia over the years,” said Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft.

“It’s just sad to see it go, but I know progress comes along,” said Meeks.

When the dust settles from the towers finals moments, all that will remain will be planted in memories and captured in photographs.

Georgia Power says they are still trying to decide what to do with the land once the rest of the plant is demolished.

Smokestack knocked down at Harllee Plant


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