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Sept. 10 - Thomas & Hutton Opens New Office In Atlanta

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 10, 2019 - Thomas & Hutton hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at their new location at  5553 Peachtree Road, Suite 175, in Chamblee, GA The public was welcome to tour its office space, meet the staff, and enjoy light refreshments. Attendees included many local and civic business leaders as well as Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and State Senator Frank Ginn.

With deep roots and extensive experience in the Atlanta Area, Thomas & Hutton’s Atlanta office is led by Atlanta Regional Director, Garrett Phelps, PE. Garrett has 21 years of experience in the planning, design, and management of land development and civil engineering projects including residential, mixed-use, office-institutional, commercial and municipal projects. Matt Dunagin, PE is leading Thomas & Hutton’s Environmental Department in the Atlanta region. Matt has 12 years of experience in managing infrastructure projects in transportation, utilities, water/wastewater, and natural gas. Matt and Garrett are  joined by Andy White, PE and Designers Zack Senn and Nick Wilson. The team will assist Phelps and Dunagin in providing the services of Thomas & Hutton on the local level and help foster Thomas & Hutton’s presence in the Atlanta region. 

One of Thomas & Hutton’s core values is giving back to the communities where they work. In celebration of the opening of the Atlanta office, Thomas & Hutton presented a donation to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Established in 1994, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper's mission is to advocate and secure the protection and stewardship of the Chattahoochee River, and its tributaries and watershed, to restore and preserve their ecological health for the people and wildlife that depend on the river system. 

Thomas & Hutton celebrates 73 years of creating transformative communities.  Founded in 1946 in Savannah, GA, Thomas & Hutton is a privately-held professional services company providing engineering, planning, landscape architecture, surveying, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and consulting services to public and private clients.  Thomas & Hutton has offices in Savannah, Brunswick, Atlanta, and Covington, Georgia; Charleston, Berkeley County, Columbia, Greenville, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee. For more information, visit

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Sept. 9 - Georgia Power encourages customers to review their current rate plan during continued summer heat wave

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 9, 2019 - With temperatures across Georgia expected to climb above 90 degrees through the end of thisweek, Georgia Power is reminding customers to review their current rate plan and select the one that best fits their lifestyle. The company is committed to providing options and information that puts customers in control of their budget and power usage. 

Choose the right plan for your budget and lifestyle

Georgia Power offers a variety of flexible and customizable rate plans to minimize the impact of higher temperatures and increased energy use on electric bills. Ensuring that you are on the most economical rate plan for your use is one of the most effective ways to keep your energy costs low.

Customers can explore Georgia Power rate plans here and at, including:

  • Smart Usage – This plan can provide savings by implementing small changes in how and when you use electricity. Electric appliances such as clothes dryers, ovens and dishwashers are some of the biggest energy users and, by using these appliances at different times, you can reduce your monthly energy bill.
  • FlatBill® – This plan offers a 12-month fixed contract price that does not fluctuate when your power usage does – eliminating surprises and preventing higher bills during the summer months.  
  • Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) – A great option for electric vehicle (EV) drivers who can charge their EVs during nighttime hours and take advantage of lower-priced energy.  
  • Nights & Weekends – If you can shift when you use electricity during the summer months to the evening, the Nights & Weekends rate is for you. By changing when you wash dishes, do laundry or cool your home, savings add up annually.  
  • PrePay – One of Georgia Power’s newest rate plans, this option allows you to pay as you go and add funds as needed. This plan requires no deposit, credit check or reconnection fees.
  • Residential Services – Georgia Power’s basic rate plan is available to all residential customers. This plan has a monthly base charge and a rate that changes based on your monthly usage and the time of year.
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Aug. 29 - 5 p.m. Gov. Kemp Declares State of Emergency for 12 Georgia Counties Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

By Caila Brown, Digital Editor

August 29, 2019 - 5 p.m. As Hurricane Dorian approaches, Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a State of Emergency for 12 Georgia counties, including Brantley, Bryan, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce and Wayne. While Hurricane Dorian is predicted to make landfall in Florida, potential impacts include excessive rainfall and damaging winds, causing extensive flooding, fallen trees, and power outages throughout the Southeastern region.

This State of Emergency allows the state to assist with storm preparation, response and recovery, and prohibits price gouging of goods and services necessary to support these efforts (O.C.G.A. 10-1-393.4). It will be effective through 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2019. 

While part of the Georgia coast, including Chatham, is outside of the "error cone", officials say residents should continue to keep an eye on the storm and make sure preparations are in place. Visit the Chatham Emergency Management Agency website for maps and storm surge guides, a hurricane preparedness guide, and other evacuation resources

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Sept. 9 - Georgia Power’s new Vogtle units approximately 79% complete

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

September 9, 2019 - The target in-service dates for Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Ga., remain unchanged at November 2021 for Unit 3 and November 2022 for Unit 4, the company announced today in its project update filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). The company also cited it expects the project will remain within the current cost forecast. 

Georgia Power filed today its combined 20th and 21st Vogtle Construction Monitoring (VCM) Report for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, with the PSC. A link to the filing can be found here.

Significant progress continues to be made at the construction site, with the project now approximately 79% complete. 

The project met all major milestones in 2018 and met all first and second quarter major milestones for 2019. Recently, the site completed a major step in the Integrated Flush process by successfully testing a portion of the Spent Fuel Pool Cooling System (SFS), a key safety component for Vogtle Unit 3. In addition, the company ordered the first nuclear fuel load for the unit, the first nuclear fuel order to be placed in more than 30 years for a newly-designed reactor in the U.S., marking a major milestone in the project’s transition to operations.

Other milestones include:

  • setting of all four reactor coolant pumps inside the Unit 3 containment vessel
  • setting of the Unit 3 containment vessel top head
  • completion of Unit 3 initial energization and the start of the integrated flush process for Unit 3
  • placement of both accumulator tanks, both steam generators and the pressurizer inside Unit 4 containment
  • setting the second ring of the Unit 4 containment vessel 

The project workforce remains at an all-time high with approximately 8,000 workers on site. With more than 800 permanent jobs available once the units begin operating, Vogtle 3 & 4 is currently the largest jobs-producing construction project in the state of Georgia.

VCM process

The company files a VCM report to provide the PSC a detailed update on progress and other information related to the construction of the nation's only new nuclear units. The VCM process includes public hearings held at the PSC, as well as reports filed by the PSC staff’s independent construction monitor. 

New construction time-lapse video highlights progress since groundbreaking

Georgia Power has released a new video of the nation's only new nuclear units currently under construction.  From the removal of four million cubic yards of soil, to historic module and concrete placements, the video includes milestones throughout the project’s history. Once completed, units 3 & 4 will generate enough electricity to power approximately 500,000 homes and businesses.

Follow the progress being made at the site with the Plant Vogtle 3 & 4 Online Photo Gallery.

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Aug. 28 - CEMA Enters the Enhanced Monitoring Phase for Tropical Storm Dorian

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

August 28, 2019 - At 8 am this morning, the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) entered the Enhanced Monitoring Phase (OPCON 4) as Tropical Storm Dorian approaches the east coast of the United States. Everyone in Chatham County should review their personal emergency plans at this time to be prepared for any impacts to our area. 

As a common practice, individuals, families, and businesses are encouraged to review their storm preparation activities:

  • Monitor local authorities for advice and protective actions. 
  • Prepare or inspect your emergency supply kit, and do not forget your pet’s kit too. 
  • Create or update your family evacuation plan, detailing how and where you will evacuate and where you could meet if separated.
  • Document important belongings and consider taking pictures or video of your home.
  • Inspect your property for loose, lightweight items that could become airborne.
  • If you have functional access or medical needs call the Chatham County Public Health Department to sign up for the registry, 1-833-CHD-REGISTER 

CEMA’s Enhanced Monitoring Phase activities will include:

  • Monitoring the storm with each advisory 
  • Sending regular updates via social media and posting relevant information on CEMA’s Website.
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