N.C. Electric Cooperatives Report 296,000 Outages as Florence Slowly Crawls West

RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2018, 9:15 p.m.) – Electric cooperatives are reporting 296,000 hurricane-related power outages on Friday at 9:15 p.m. As Florence continues a slow crawl toward the west, hazardous conditions including sustained rainfall and strong winds are expected to cause additional outages overnight. Real-time outage numbers and locations for co-ops throughout the state are available online.

Cooperative crews and reinforcements from around the nation, like these at Pitt & Greene EMC based in Farmville, are prepared to respond to outages as soon as conditions are safe.

Outages are concentrated in the coastal, Sandhills and south central part of the state. Counties with the highest number of co-op members without power are:

  • Brunswick (70,518)
  • Onslow (45,159)
  • Carteret (33,157)

Hundreds of contract and out-of-state co-op crews have joined local workers in cooperative communities to assist with restoration and rebuilding of damaged infrastructure. Safety is always a top priority of electric cooperatives. In areas still experiencing hazardous weather, crews are on standby until conditions improve. Flooding can also impair restoration progress if crews must wait for water to recede.

Limited restoration work is already progressing in locations where conditions allow. As the weather improves, crews will be able to enter the field in force to restore power to all cooperative members as quickly as possible.

In the hardest-hit areas, cooperative members should be prepared for the possibility of outages that could last for weeks, rather than days. Cooperative members should report outages to their local co-op.

Safety tips:
  • Never go near a downed power line or attempt to remove tree branches or other objects that are touching a power line. Always assume that power lines are energized and potentially deadly.
  • Do not drive through water.
  • Stay away from flooded areas. Power lines could be submerged and still energized.
  • Continue to stay vigilant and heed all local advisories.

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.