Electric co-op line crews across the state worked through frigid conditions over the Valentine’s Day weekend as winter precipitation and high winds damaged poles and brought down lines. Power outages peaked late Saturday morning with about 194,000 statewide (including co-op, municipal and investor-owned utility outages), according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.
Storms persisted through Monday night and early Tuesday, when a tornado touched down in southern Brunswick County, killing three people, injuring 10 and damaging at least 50 homes, according to Brunswick County officials. Around 35,000 Brunswick Electric members were affected by the storm, with some outages extending into Tuesday afternoon.
“Our priority is to restore power to all of our members across our service area as quickly and safely as possible,” Brunswick Electric CEO Josh Winslow said on Tuesday. “Our thoughts are with the individuals who have suffered loss as a result of these storms.”
Other co-ops that experienced significant outages include EnergyUnited, with nearly 5,400 members without power at peak; Halifax EMC, with an outage peak of 3,500 members; and Piedmont Electric, with an outage peak of nearly 8,500 members. Crews from across the state mobilized to assist in restoration efforts.