Piedmont Electric assists others in restoration efforts that resulted from Hurricane Irene. See full story for pictures and information about the storm.
Hillsborough, N.C., September 2, 2011 – Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation, our local electric cooperative, sent seventeen linemen and equipment to Pitt & Greene EMC in Farmville, NC. The team left early morning Sunday morning, August 28 to assist with storm restoration resulting from Hurricane Irene.
Those representing Piedmont EMC from Roxboro were Kelly Gentry, Kevin Snead, Brent Talley and David Tilson who are shown as they prepare to leave the cooperative
Cooperative crews had to cut their way through fallen trees and debris to begin work in the hardest-hit parts of the state. In Carteret County, one traveler reported a “spider web” of fallen poles and power lines along a highway and roads blocked by piles of seaweed and marsh grass.
Shown are Piedmont EMC Linemen Donald Neems, Joe Hux, Brian Rhew, and Josh Austin as they make their way through a swamp located in Pitt county.
Piedmont Electric crews made it home safely at 11:00 pm August 31, 2011 after electric service was restored for Pitt and Green EMC customers.
As of September 1, 2011 North Carolina’s electric co-ops had made significant progress in power restoration, reconnecting 145,000 households since Hurricane Irene knocked out power to 152,000 members in eastern North Carolina.
Some electric cooperatives members were late in receiving their electric power, mostly due a lack of access in some of the more remote service territory areas served by electric cooperatives. Co-op officials say the restoration process will likely be slow and steady as the remaining 7,000 outages are whittled away, with many crews working structure by structure to restore power to individual members.
Tideland EMC, which serves Dare, Hyde, Beaufort, Washington, Pamlico and Craven counties, is working with county building inspectors to ensure that power is reconnected safely. Flooding and downed trees have repeatedly slowed restoration efforts there.
On the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative has energized lines to more than 85 percent of their members, including the village of Avon. This emergency power is being supported by a diesel plant in Buxton and temporary diesel generators. Transmission lines are still severely damaged on Hatteras Island along Highway 12. Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative urges all members to conserve electricity until permanent transmission service is restored.
If you see utility vehicles stopped on the side of the road, slow down and move to the far lane, if possible. This not only keeps utility workers safe, but it’s also the law. Always regard power lines as energized and extremely dangerous, even if they are lying on the ground or submerged in water.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve more than 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.
Shown are Hillsborough Line Crew members before departing to assist Pitt & Greene EMC. The Hillsboroughlinemen who assisted in restoration efforts were Jerry Clifford, Mathew Porterfield, Jeff Bolick, Russell Yates, Jeff Young, Chris Hoyler, Andy Dawson, Richard Gates, Chris Berry, Donald Neems, Joe Hux, Brian Rhew, and Josh Austin.