N.C. Electric Cooperatives begin to see outages, stress English/Spanish safety tips

Raleigh, N.C. —

  • Electric cooperatives beginning to experience outages (2,900 at 10 a.m.) in inland and coastal southern counties.
  • Crews are staged and additional crews from western North Carolina and Virginia have moved in to help.
  • Please take seriously the listed safety tips in English and Spanish.

RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2016, 10 a.m.) – North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are beginning to see outages as Hurricane Matthew closes is on North Carolina. As of 10 a.m., the cooperatives are reporting approximately 2,900 outages, mainly in southern counties, including areas inland like Hoke and Robeson counties, as well as our southernmost coastal counties, like Brunswick and Pender.

There are 26 locally owned and operated electric cooperatives in North Carolina, six of which serve coastal communities including 16 beaches, and eight more serve inland eastern North Carolina, which could see flooding from heavy rains and swelling rivers. Crews from co-ops that are less affected, including those in the western part of the state, are staged with their cooperative peers in the east. Line crews from electric cooperatives in Virginia have also moved in to help.

The ground in eastern North Carolina is already saturated from previous rain last week. The ground will continue to saturate with rain from Hurricane Matthew, making trees and power poles vulnerable to toppling from Matthew’s wind gusts.

Cooperative officials stress these key safety tips in English and Spanish:



If you’re without electricity and want to use a portable generator, make sure you use it in a well-ventilated area. Don’t connect the generator to your home’s electrical panel or fuse boxes. It may cause electricity to feed back into the power lines, which can endanger linemen and damage electric service facilities.

Si no tiene electricidad y desea usar un generador portátil, úselo en un área bien ventilada. No conecte el generador al panel eléctrico o a la caja de fusibles de su casa. Esto puede hacer que la electricidad fluya hacia los cables de alta tensión, lo cual puede poner en peligro a los trabajadores y dañar las instalaciones de la cooperativa de electricidad.

If your power is out following a storm and you must cook food with Sterno or charcoal, remember to do so outside in a well-ventilated area. Cooking indoors with Sterno or charcoal will produce deadly carbon-monoxide fumes.

Si no tiene electricidad después de una tormenta y debe cocinar alimentos con combustible Sterno® o carbón, recuerde hacerlo afuera en un área bien ventilada. Cocinar dentro de la casa con Sterno® o carbón produce vapors mortales de monóxido de carbono.

Remember, following a storm, debris can cover power lines that have fallen and even standing near lines that are down can be dangerous.

Recuerde, después de una tormenta puede haber escombros sobre los cables de alta tensión caídos y hasta pararse cerca de tales cables puede ser peligroso.

Electric cooperative members are encouraged to charge up their cell phones and keep their co-op’s outage reporting number accessible. The outage reporting phone numbers for the state’s 26 electric cooperatives can be found at www.ncelectriccooperatives.com/storm/outages.htm.

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.