Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
Welcome to Pike County Times.com

This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. If you enjoy reading Pike County Times, consider buying an advertisement for your business or sending a donation to support the only free online newspaper in Pike County. Donations can be sent to: The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Thanks for supporting Pike County's only free online newspaper!


Click here to go to First Bank of Pike's Website

Photos from this Saturday's storm damage courtesy of Ava Mangham and Circle M Farm. A tree fell on their chicken pen and another tree fell blocking the driveway.


These photos from Saturday's storm damage on Cook Road are courtesy of Kelly Herring.

These are photos from northeast Pike County taken by Becky Watts from Pike County Times from Sunday's storm. More photos are below the article.
BREAKING NEWS: Storm Weather Causes Damage in Pike County
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - The National Weather Service (NWS) in Atlanta advised that 88 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings were issued between Thursday and Sunday. This is more than any other area in the entire country. Pike and surrounding counties have been hit with storms throughout the weekend leaving debris in the road, trees tangled in power lines, and many homes without power.

Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Pike Director Jimmy Totten advised that 60 mile per hour winds were reported in Pike County on Saturday and that Severe Thunderstorm Warnings went out by phone, text, and email through our Code Red emergency notification system.

No alerts when out by Code Red on Sunday, but Totten advised that this weather system could have spun up so quickly that there wasn’t time to send out warnings. Pike and Coweta County both received damage on Sunday.

Lt. Wendy Pippins of the Pike Sheriff’s Office advised that E-911 received 12 emergency calls about trees or power lines down after the Saturday storm rolled through on the 22nd. Dispatch received 8 calls about trees or power lines down on Sunday, the 23rd.

Storms hit the southern portion of the county on Friday and Saturday and the north side of the county on Sunday. Most reports were related to trees blocking the road or trees tangled up in power lines, but there are also numerous reports of damage to vehicles and Pike County Times witnessed one home with damage from a fallen tree from this weekend’s storms.

Public Works Director Todd Goolsby advised that crews from Public Works spent four hours doing storm debris related work on Friday, eight hours on Saturday afternoon and evening, and another eight hours on Sunday afternoon and evening. He advised that crews were out working on 12:30 a.m. on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

And there is more work to do now that the northeast portion of the county was targeted for extensive work from Harper’s Tree Service and Southern Rivers Energy after wind gusts went through the area around Shackelford, Caldwell, Dunbar, and Chestnut Hill Road areas. All of the roads were passable on Sunday evening around 7:30 or 8 p.m. except for Chestnut Hill Road when Pike County Times toured the area talking to residents and taking pictures for this article. [Note from the Editor: Thank you to all of the residents, linemen, and tree cutters who talked to me last night. Hopefully there won’t be anything like this around here again for a while!]

Erin Cook, Director of Marketing/Member Services for Southern Rivers Energy, advised that crews cworked from about 7 p.m. on Saturday until 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. Then the on-call crews went back out between 9-9:30 Sunday a.m. and worked until 9:00 p.m. And additional crews worked Sunday from 2 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. “They had to pull the on-call crews in by 9:00 to make them rest for safety reasons,” Cook said. “So most of them worked around 13 hours Saturday and then another 11-12 hours on Sunday.”

On Saturday, June 22 at 10:22 p.m., Southern Rivers Energy had 3,150 members without power in seven counties. That includes 432 in Lamar County and 402 in Pike County. That number dropped by more than 1,000 members down to 251 in Lamar County and 263 in Pike County. By Sunday morning at 4:18 a.m., crews had restored power to 3,040 members with 10 remaining in Pike, 32 in Meriwether, and 66 in Upson. According to the Outage Viewer just before 2 p.m., 3 member remain without power in Pike County today. Click here to see the outage viewer.

Update 4:39 p.m.: It looks like all but one customer have been restored.

Brooke Parrott, Executive Assistant at Upson EMC, advised that many members were affected in the south part of the county over the weekend. She said that the Molena substation went down on Saturday but was back up within two hours and that their guys were working from around 7 p.m. on Saturday through 2 a.m. on Monday morning.

Over 1,500 customers were without power at one point though that number has been reduced to a little under 600 as of 12 p.m. today. Parrott asked for patience and said, “They are working on it as safe and fast as they can.” She also advised that just one broken pole takes a couple of hours to replace so Pike County Times has learned something new today because there was a broken pole in north Pike County last night that I saw too.

If you are reporting an outage with Upson EMC, please call the 706-647-5475 outage reporting number rather than reporting on Facebook since their Facebook page is not monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You can view their outage meter by clicking here.

Update 4:39 p.m.: It looks like power has been restored to all customers.

According to the outage meter for Georgia Power, there were 8 customers in the Pike/Griffin area and 3 customers in the Thomaston area without power as of June 24 at 10:54 a.m. It was projected that those customers should have power this afternoon. Georgia Power has had numerous power outages across the state. You can view their outage viewer by clicking here.

Update 4:39 p.m.: It looks like power has been restored to all customers in our area.

It is the time of year for storms and possible electrical outages. You can prepare by signing up for weather alerts through Code Red, having a weather radio in your home so you can keep up with weather events, having a generator to run necessary appliances in case of a power outage, keeping a supply of water and food that does not require a stove on hand, and having various battery back ups and solar charges for smaller appliances.

The biggest thing to remember is to call 911 when you see a safety hazard that needs to be addressed by public works and the Sheriff’s Office such as a tree in the road or a tree tangled up in power lines. They have a system of working together to let everyone know what the problems are and getting the right people involved so that the problem can be fixed as quickly as possible.

And keep in mind that power crews are working to restore electricity during an outage in the quickest and safest way possible even when their own families may be without power. Please give a wave and a smile or even a thumbs up to crews who clean up the trees and restore power in your area!

You can sign up for Code Red weather alerts by clicking on this link. You can also find this link to Code Red all year round on www.PikeCountyTimes.com about midway down the right side of the page. Stay safe and thank you for reading Pike County Times!

Thank you to First Bank of Pike for sponsoring Pike County Times’ Breaking News Alerts! First Bank of Pike has been serving customers in Pike County and the surrounding area since 1901 and offers Personal and Business banking with a personal touch. Services include checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, and IRA’s. Mobile Banking and Bill Payment services are also available! Click here for more. Please let First Bank of Pike know that you appreciate their sponsorship of Breaking News Alerts on Pike County's only FREE online newspaper!

If you want to find out about how you can get Breaking News Alerts, click here. Thanks for reading and supporting Pike County Times.com!