As multiple states across the South experienced severe weather leading to power outages over the weekend, 64 line workers from six North Carolina electric co-ops were dispatched to Kentucky to assist with power restoration efforts.
Lineworkers from Blue Ridge Energy, Brunswick Electric, EnergyUnited, Four County EMC, Edgecombe-Martin EMC and South River EMC collaborated with crews from four Kentucky electric co-ops to replace damaged power lines and restore power for cooperative members.
“Every member, even those at the very end of the line, are important, and our crews worked hard to restore power as quickly and safely as possible to cooperative members in Kentucky,” said Farris Leonard, director of job training and safety at North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “I am proud of the work of our cooperatives and crews for always going above and beyond in service to co-op members across the region.”
More than 300,000 co-op members in Kentucky lost power after intense thunderstorms and high winds moved in on Friday. All 26 of Kentucky’s electric cooperatives experienced outages during the severe weather event. Crews from nine states across the region descended on Kentucky to render mutual aid and restore power for co-op members in a true demonstration of the co-op principle of cooperation among cooperatives.
As states throughout the region continue to clean up and restore power from last weekend’s storms, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives are joining Governor Roy Cooper and NC Emergency Management officials in encouraging North Carolinians to make a plan and be prepared for severe weather during Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which runs from March 5-11.
Cooperative members can access severe weather safety information, preparation resources and tips and by visiting the NC Cooperative Storm Center, a joint effort of the state’s electric cooperatives and Carolina Country magazine.
Additionally, NC Emergency Management recommends the following safety and preparedness tips:
- Develop a family emergency plan so each member knows what to do, where to go and who to call during an emergency.
- If thunder roars, go indoors! Lightning is close enough to strike you.
- Know where the nearest safe room is, such as a basement or interior room away from windows.
- Know the terms: WATCH means severe weather is possible. WARNING means severe weather is occurring; take shelter immediately.
- Assemble an emergency supply kit for use at home or in your vehicle. Make sure to include a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and bottled water.
- If driving, leave your vehicle immediately to seek shelter in a safe structure. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your vehicle and do not stop under an overpass or bridge.
- If there is no shelter available, take cover in a low-lying flat area.
Electric cooperatives encourage members to connect with their local co-op for updates and resources prior to, during and after severe weather events.
Header photo shows South River EMC crews helping to restore power in Bardstown, KY.