Irene Leaves Wake of Destruction and 152,000 NC Electric Cooperative Members in the Dark

Cooperative crews continue assessing damage and restoring power where conditions are safe

Raleigh, N.C. – Hurricane Irene’s heavy rain and high winds battered eastern North Carolina today, leaving a wake of destruction and more than 152,000 customers of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives without power.

Cooperative crews have already restored power in many southern areas of the state where Irene hit earlier in the day. In the more recently-hit northeastern parts of the state, and in heavily damaged or flooded areas, it is not yet safe for crews to begin restoration work.

Cooperatives provide power in most of the state’s coastal areas. Beaches served by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives include Hatteras, Ocracoke, Cedar Island, Topsail (which includes Surf City, North Topsail and Topsail Beach), Bogue Banks (which includes Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, Indian Beach and Emerald Isle), Sunset, Ocean Isle, Holden, Oak Island and Harkers Island.

Storm surge and flooding have been widely reported across the eastern part of the state, which has been a leading cause of power outages. Cooperative officials encourage the public to use caution and remember the following:

  • Stay away from downed or low-hanging power lines. Beware of lines that may be submerged in flood waters. Assume that any line is conducting electricity; contact with fallen power lines could cause serious injury or even death.
  • Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.
  • Do attempt to drive through flood water. As few as six inches of moving water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.