South River EMC Continues To Overcome The Elements To Restore Service
Despite the challenging conditions, South River EMC line crews began the assessment and restoration process on Saturday. The number of total outages decreased from over 30,000 to just under 22,000 by day’s end. The torrential rain dumped by Hurricane Florence over the past two days is becoming less intense but will continue through today. Many roads in the area are flooded and the rivers are expected to crest over the next two days resulting in nearly historic flooding.
While the initial phase of restoration is focused on assessment of damage and formulation of a plan, several line crews spread out across the system to perform work on the substations to ensure they are in good repair and ready for operation. Crews were able to decrease the outages from over 30,000 to under 22,000.
“We are pleased with the progress being made toward restoration, especially considering the adverse weather that continues as the stormslowly moves away from our area,” said Catherine O’Dell, VP of Member Services and PR. “Road closures and detours continue to present a significant hurdle to progress. We realize that members are becoming frustrated, but we are completely committed to getting their power restored as soon as possible.”
Information regarding the extent of damage, equipment needs, flooding and road closure issues, etc. are assembled to formulate a fact-based plan for the coming days to ensure the greatest number of members are restored as quickly as possible.
Nearly 200 additional line personnel traveling from 22 electric cooperatives in Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois, as well from three electrical contracting companies and three tree expert businesses support the electric cooperative.
“We are using our own crews, extra tree trimming expertise and contract linemen to make as many repairs as possible,” said O’Dell. “We have also brought in large tracked vehicles with buckets and booms to help in the hard-to-reach areas that are laden with mud and water.”
While the power is out, people are encouraged to turn off their air conditioners, all appliances and all lights except one. This will help make the transition easier once the electricity is restored. If people have too many electric items on when the power is restored, the circuits can be overloaded causing additional outages.”
Safety of the entire community is vital. Anyone who encounters a downed power line should stay clear and call 9-1-1.
As restoration continues, people can keep abreast of outages by checking South River EMC’s real-time system map at www.sremc.com or follow South River EMC on Facebook and Twitter.
Cooperative employees will work around the clock until all power is restored. If members have difficulty reaching the electric company, keep trying. The easiest way to report outages, and check the status of restoration, is by registering for outage texting. Members should text SREMCTEXT to 888.338.5530. It takes up to 24 hours for the account to activate.
South River EMC, a local Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is a locally owned not-for-profit electric cooperative providing electric service to over 44,000 homes, farms and businesses in parts of Harnett, Sampson, Cumberland, Johnston and Bladen counties.