Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are reporting that 96,000 members are still without power, down from 152,000 yesterday. The cooperatives would like to remind members in the most severely damaged areas that it may be a matter of days, not hours, until power is restored to all members.
Fallen trees and storm debris have blocked roadways and inhibited restoration efforts in the hardest-hit areas. Cooperative crews are working with state emergency personnel in those areas to make roads passable so that damage assessment and restoration work can begin.
Cooperative officials say the goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible. The restoration process generally involves performing repairs at any substation that may be completely out, and then moving on to primary and secondary lines on the system, medical facilities and individuals on life-support, and finally, on to individual services. Crews from cooperatives across North Carolina and neighboring states are in place to assist local linemen.
The co-ops are asking members who are still without power to leave their porch light on so cooperative workers know when power has been restored. If you plan to operate a generator in the meantime, the cooperatives have provided the following tips:
- Never connect a generator directly to your electrical system. Improper connection is dangerous for you and utility workers.
- Operate a generator in a clean, dry, well ventilated area to avoid electrical shock and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Never use worn, damaged, undersized or ungrounded extension cords with a generator.
- Never exceed the load capacity of a generator by attaching too many items or items with very high load ratings which could result in a fire.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties, primarily in rural parts of the state.