N.C. Electric Cooperatives Reach Historic High of 304,000 Outages

RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 15, 2018, 6 a.m.) – More than 304,000 cooperative members across North Carolina are without power after another night of battering winds and sustained rains from Hurricane Florence. This is an unprecedented number of outages for the network of North Carolina cooperatives, which serves members in 93 N.C. counties from the mountains to the coast. Despite restoration work that is taking place as conditions allow, new outages are expected to occur as Hurricane Florence continues her slow trek toward the west and up the state’s Appalachian spine this weekend.

Trucks roll out before morning light on Saturday at Newport-based Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative.

Outages are concentrated in the coastal, Sandhills and south central part of the state at this time. Counties reporting the highest number of electric cooperative outages are:

  • Brunswick (70,520)
  • Onslow (45,797)
  • Carteret (33,157)

Flooding and high winds have prevented crews from moving forward with damage assessment and restoration efforts in hard-hit regions. Assessment, restoration and rebuilding work is expected to begin today in many of those areas, but some cooperative members could be facing weeks-long outages as damage from Florence has been extensive. Limited restoration work is already in progress as conditions allow. Local cooperative crews are receiving support from contractors and co-op crews from throughout the nation. As the weather improves, crews will be able to enter the field in force, and work will continue until power is restored to all cooperative members.

Cooperative members are encouraged to stay vigilant and heed local advisories as the storm moves slowly across the state and impacts continue to be felt. Most hurricane-related fatalities result from drowning, and motorists are urged to not drive on flooded roadways. Everyone is also reminded to never go near downed or sagging power lines and should 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.

In addition, cooperative members should report outages to their local co-op. Real-time outage numbers and locations for co-ops throughout North Carolina are available online.

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.