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Jim GallowayJim Galloway

Georgia Power hot-seat chief: The iceman cometh

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021214_snow_main_bs10

Gov. Nathan Deal. left, and Georgia Emergency Management Director Charley English before the start a Emergency Operations Command committee meeting this morning. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

A two-inch snowstorm paralyzing a metro Atlanta that boasts of its ability to move is one thing.

Epic collisions between ice and Georgia’s white pines are quite another – a meteorological event peculiar to the South, and nothing to be sneered at.

Aaron Strickland, Georgia Power’s chief emergency director, explained at a press conference in Gov. Nathan Deal’s office:

“We have a high level of concern. When you’re talking a half-inch of ice or larger, it’s pretty darn bad. You go back to the [2000] Super Bowl – we had a half-inch of ice and had 350,000 outages. So this is big. We already have 2,500 to 3,000 outside resources rolling into Georgia.”

The ice could be an inch thick in the Augusta area, Strickland said – something he’s never seen in 35 years with the utility. More:

“I would be prepared for days. This has the opportunity to be a huge event, when you’re talking about the amount of ice were looking at….We’re looking at hundreds of thousands of outages. This could be of a long duration.”

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