Electric cooperatives continue restoration efforts; outages drop to 146,000

Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina’s electric cooperatives continue to make progress in restoring power outages on Sunday evening. The cooperatives report 146,000 outages as of 9 p.m., down from 270,000 earlier today.

The majority of the remaining cooperative outages are located in southeastern and coastal counties, where washed-out roads, debris and flooding are slowing restoration efforts. In the hardest hit areas, cooperative crews are joined by an additional 230 linemen from throughout North Carolina, as well as Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Cooperative crews will continue to work until all members are reconnected. It is expected this effort could last several days in some areas.

Many of the remaining outages are caused by damage to the bulk power system that delivers power to cooperative substations. In those cases, the electric cooperatives are working with transmission service providers to make sure high-voltage service lines are restored as quickly as possible. Only when transmission outages are restored will cooperatives be able to re-energize affected substations.

As damage from Hurricane Matthew is repaired, members are reminded of the following important safety tips:

  • Never attempt to remove trees or branches from fallen or sagging power lines. Always assume that lines are energized and potentially deadly.
  • Never touch a downed power line, and remember that sometimes debris can cover fallen lines, making them difficult to spot.
  • Do not wade into, or drive through, floodwaters.
  • Only use generators and charcoal grills in well-ventilated areas; a garage does not count as a well-ventilated area.

The electric cooperatives thank cooperative members for their patience; getting your power back on is our priority, and we will get it done as safely and quickly as possible.

North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives collectively serve approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties. Six electric cooperatives serve 16 North Carolina beaches, and many more serve hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in other parts of eastern North Carolina.