Gusty Winds and Saturated Ground Lead to Electric Cooperative Power Outages

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 7, 2020, 10:30 a.m.)—Cooperative crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to 24,000 members of North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives affected by severe weather. Thursday’s heavy rain saturated soil, making trees more susceptible to falling with today’s high wind gusts. These conditions are leading to power outages as falling trees and limbs damage power lines and poles.

Crews from Pee Dee Electric, based in Wadesboro, work to restore power to the local community.

Cooperative restoration crews responded to outages yesterday, and continue to do so today. While power has already been restored to many, winds are expected to persist through the day, which could cause outage totals to fluctuate even as crews make progress. Restoration personnel are out in force, clearing debris and making system repairs as conditions safely allow. Crews from less-impacted areas have traveled to assist crews working to restore outages in affected areas.

Real-time outage numbers and locations across the state are available online. Co-op members should report outages to their electric cooperative. In addition, cooperative members are urged to heed the following safety tips:

  • Never touch or drive across a downed power line, and remember that debris can cover fallen lines, making them difficult to spot. Report any line damage to your local cooperative or utility.
  • Help keep crews safe. If you see utility crews working on the side of the road, slow down and drive carefully.
  • Never wade into or drive through flood water.
  • Only use generators and charcoal grills in well-ventilated outdoor areas; a garage does not count as a well-ventilated area.
  • Never connect a portable generator directly to a home’s wiring. Instead, use an extension cord to plug lights and appliances into the generator.

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