Raleigh, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2018, 4:30 p.m.) – Beginning just before morning light and with a few hours left before dark, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ line crews are continuing to make steady power restoration progress. Outages across the network of 26 local electric cooperatives, which serve parts of 93 N.C. counties, now total 239,000, down from a peak of 326,000 yesterday morning.
Electric cooperatives serving areas with the most extensive storm damage are backed by a growing number of reinforcements from peer electric cooperatives in and out of state, as well as contract crews, tree removal experts and other support specialists. Damage is so widespread that it could take this army of restoration personnel several more days or even weeks to fully restore power, particularly where there is extreme flooding and in areas where trees pulled down power lines and winds snapped poles.
Officials caution that electric cooperative consumer-members in western North Carolina could also experience power outages as the hurricane’s remnants track west.
Prolonged outages are frustrating, and electric co-op members are thanked for their patience, as well as the gratitude they’ve shared with restoration personnel. Please know, every single cooperative member who is without power is a part of their local cooperative’s restoration plan. Crews will work as quickly and safely as possible to return the essential service of electricity to all.
You can help by being especially vigilant of work areas. Please do not go out on the roads unless absolutely necessary. Keeping the roads clear will help first responders do their jobs and allow restoration crews access to impacted areas. Additionally, many road shoulders are saturated or inaccessible, which means crews will have to set up their trucks and equipment on the road in some locations. Help us keep our linemen safe.
For your safety, never go near downed or sagging power lines and be aware that fallen lines could be hidden by debris or high water. Always assume power lines are energized and report damage to your utility provider immediately.
North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives collectively serve approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties. For more information, visit ncelectriccooperatives.com.