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Old News Stories
Government Orders Blackout, 1941

From: The Chatsworth Times
November 6, 1941

U. S. Government Orders Immediate
BLACKOUT
Power Shortage in Southeast Critical:
We Urge Support of OPM Program

The electric power situation in Georgia and the whole Southeast is critical. On the one hand, National Defense requirements have caused a 25 per cent increase in the use of power. On the other, rainfall 33 per cent below normal has reduced the stream flows and lowered the hydro-electric storage lakes.

To meet the record demand, in spite of scanty supplies of water, the Georgia Power Company and other public and private power-producing agencies have depleted their storage supplies until, in the Southeastern area, there is only one month's supply of water remaining in the lakes. This is a very narrow margin of safety.

Unless the withdrawal of water from the reservoirs is stopped, the whole power supply of this area, including power for National Defense and essential civilian uses, will be endangered.

To effect an immediate reduction in the use of power, the Office of Production Management has issued the following order:

"The use of electric power for non-essential purposes is prohibited. This order is effective IMMEDIATELY. Non-essential purposes mean specifically: sign lighting; show-window lighting; outline and ornamental lighting; outdoor lighting, flood lighting or field lighting for amusements or sports; and interior or exterior lighting for decorative or advertising purposes."

The OPM order also provides that large industrial and commercial consumers, those using more than 10,000 kilowatt hours a month, will be required to reduce their consumption by 30 per cent. This order becomes effective November 10 unless heavy general rains over the Southeast should relieve the shortage of water.

The saving of electricity by homes is voluntary, but everyone is asked to help

The Georgia Power Company urges all of our commercial customers to comply at once with the order discontinuing non-essential lighting. The situation is worse than it was at any time last summer. On June 13 storage of water in our reservoirs reached the low point of 34,300,000 kilowatt hours. On November 1, it was less than 22,000,000 kilowatt hours!

This power curtailment program differs from the one of last summer in that it is mandatory. It was put on that basis by the OPM for several reasons: the power shortage is Southwide; a central agency is needed to administer a program affecting several states and dozens of public and private power systems; the seriousness of the power shortage makes it necessary that IMMEDIATE definite steps be taken, affecting everybody alike.

We ask your support because evan a mandatory program will not work unless the people are behind it.

We are backing this to the limit ourselves because we know the necessity for it. We are confident that our customers will give their support also.

Georgia Power Company


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