N.C. Electric Cooperatives Ready to Respond to Winter Storm Impacts

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are closely monitoring weather conditions and are prepared to respond quickly if power outages occur from the approaching winter storm.

Electric cooperatives serve approximately 2.5 million North Carolinians in 93 of the state’s 100 counties, primarily in rural areas. Because the cooperatives are based in the communities they serve, they can address storm impacts as quickly as possible, beginning restoration efforts as soon as conditions are safe.

Edgecombe-Martin County EMC crews prepare for winter weather.

Ice and heavy, wet snow are the biggest concerns for electric cooperatives in winter storms. When precipitation accumulates, it can weigh down tree branches and cause them to come in contact with power lines – a leading cause of outages in wintery conditions.

Real-time outage numbers from electric co-ops across the state are available on this Statewide Outage Map.

Co-op members who live in areas that could see impact from the storm are urged to prepare now for the possibility of power outages. While residents prepare at home, co-op line crews are using this time to pre-stage materials, stock their trucks and test power restoration equipment. If outages occur, restoration personnel will work quickly and safely to restore power to members.

“The top priority of electric cooperatives is serving members and their communities, and if the storm causes power outages, we will do everything we can to minimize disruption to service while keeping members informed and safe,” said Louis Duke, spokesperson for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “We urge North Carolinians to prepare now by making a plan, assembling a storm kit and following the guidance of public officials and emergency personnel.”

Some simple things you can do now are:

  • Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a supply of non-perishable food, water and medication, as well as any other items you might need in case of a power outage, such as a blankets, first-aid supplies, flashlights and batteries.
  • Charge your cell phone. This will allow you to stay connected to emergency and safety updates even if the power goes out.
  • Connect with your local cooperative. Find updates on outages and safety online throughout the storm.

Click here to find your local co-op.