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Power being restored quickly after storm leaves hundreds in Newton in the dark

COVINGTON, Ga. — Hurricane Zeta's move through Georgia left trees down and hundreds without power east to west in Newton County this morning.

However, electric providers were restoring power to hundreds of customers rapidly this morning, though power was not predicted to be restored until 10:50 a.m. in some locations, one company said.

And Newton County Sheriff's Office reported little damage other than some tree limbs from decayed trees falling, a spokesperson said.

Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corp. reported it was working to restore power to 370 Newton County homes and businesses about 9:30 a.m. — down from more than 1,800 reported about four hours earlier.

"We appreciate your patience as crews are (working) as quickly as possible to restore outages. We'd also like to remind you to stay safe and stay away from fallen power lines and trees," the co-op said on Twitter. 

The electric co-op reported 5,500 customers in its eight-county service area were without power about 9:15 a.m. this morning, which was down from about 13,000 at 5:30 a.m.

It reported fallen trees and limbs had caused outages countywide in Newton County, with major outages in the Porterdale and Mansfield areas. 

Areas in western Newton County along Cowan and Smith Store roads, Highways 81 and 36; and Christian Circle near the Rockdale County line also reported outages.

The co-op serves about 31,000 customers in Newton County.

Meanwhile, Walton EMC reported about 79 Newton customers without power out of its 141 customers in the northern part of the county. Georgia Power reported few outages in Newton by 8:10 a.m., as did Central Georgia EMC.

No information was immediately available from the city of Covington about its power outages this morning.

Newton County School System called off classes for today in preparation for the storm. 

However, early voting locations at Porter Memorial Library in southwestern Newton and the county Administration Building in downtown Covington opened today as scheduled, election officials said.