North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Track Tropical Activity in Atlantic, Prepare for Possibility of First 2007 East Coast Storm

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are tracking tropical activity on the east coast as it slowly begins to organize and strengthen in the Atlantic Ocean.

Co-op officials are planning for the storm by staffing up and double-checking equipment and supplies that will allow them to restore power as quickly as possible in the event of major outages.

At the Tarheel Electric Membership Association (TEMA) in Raleigh, a purchasing and material supply cooperative owned by all 27 of the North Carolina’s electric co-ops, employees are taking the steps necessary to coordinate power restoration efforts throughout the state. TEMA officials are already lining up crews from neighboring states beyond the storm’s expected path, personnel who stand ready to travel to storm-damaged areas.

“North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are prepared to respond quickly if power outages occur due to high winds and flooding,” said Jane Pritchard, director of corporate communications for the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives.  “Our co-op teams test equipment and check supplies that will quickly aid them in restoring power to customers.”

The electric cooperative members experiencing power outages should contact their local electric cooperative. You can find phone numbers for the state’s 27 electric cooperatives at Storm information will also be posted on the website.

People should stay away from and not touch downed or sparking power lines and report these broken lines to their electric cooperatives immediately.

The state’s electric co-ops are committed to keeping the power on for their members, but power outages caused by sever weather are unpredictable. For the safety of our members, we ask that they prepare an emergency kit that includes a flashlight, fresh batteries, matches, non-perishable food, a radio with fresh batteries, blankets and bottled water and other items necessary for getting through a power outage.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people in 93 of 100 counties, primarily in rural parts of the state. The electric cooperatives own and maintain 95,000 miles of power lines, by far the most of any electric utility in North Carolina