Hurricane Irma changed many plans as she surprised forecasters and altered her course toward the west. Her eventual route took her through Columbus and the surrounding areas and over the homes and businesses of our physicians, staff, patients and their families. West Georgia Eye Care Center made the conscientious decision to close our clinics, optical shops and surgery center on the day of the storm (Monday, September 11th). Our first priority was safety.
Closing unexpectedly (even for just one day) is never convenient. We understand that patients make arrangements around their appointments. We want to minimize the inconvenience as much as possible, especially for our patients who have to reschedule their eye surgeries. We are busy creating surgery availability on days when we would not normally schedule procedures. Our goal is to reduce the inconvenience to our patients and their families. To that end, staff is working diligently to contact patients as quickly as possible. A special effort was made to get notices posted on social media and on our website as soon as decisions were made regarding our closing.
Thankfully today (the day after Hurricane Irma’s visit) our offices have full power and our doors are open to serve patients. Many across Georgia are not able to say the same. As of 1:55 pm today (Tuesday, September 12, 2017) there remain 9,853 customers without power across the state. According to Georgia Power’s website, this outage affects an estimated 657,274 people. For one of our employees, Jenny Powers, the storm’s inconvenience is a double whammy. Jenny has been scheduling surgeries for our WGECC patients for 16 years and she knows what has to be done in these circumstances. She came in before 7:30 am today to start contacting her patients right away. She also knows that the power outages mean she will be extra busy at home with her teenaged daughter and two young boys while her husband, Scott, is working overtime for Georgia Power. The picture above tells the story best. Talon Powers is proudly wearing his electrician’s hat the day of the storm, ready to go and help his daddy turn power back-on for all of us!