South River EMC Ready to Respond
South River EMC is ready to respond to power outages in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
The electric cooperative has nearly 200 additional line personnel traveling from Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois to assist. Additionally, 68 tree experts from Louisiana will be supporting the cooperative. These out-of-state personnel will be bringing 154 vehicles. This is a force multiplier for South River EMC’s 66 in-field workforce and contractors.
Safety of our workforce is a top priority. Therefore, South River EMC crews will be in the field to restore service as soon as conditions are safe. A lineman cannot work out of an elevated bucket when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater.
“Our area is expected to get hurricane and tropical-storm force winds,” said Catherine O’Dell, VP of Member Services and Public Relations. “This, coupled with potentially catastrophic flooding, can make for a dangerous situation, which can result in wide-spread outages. We are so thankful for the assistance of all of the out-of-town emergency personnel who are traveling to assist with our restoration efforts.
“Linemen are the unsung heroes of many disasters. They leap into action and work tirelessly until all power is restored and people’s lives are returned to normal.”
We are facing widespread outages affecting thousands of members and restoration could take up to one week.
“While the power is out, we ask people to turn off their air conditioners, all appliances and all lights. This will help make the transition easier once electricity is restored,” said O’Dell. “If people have too many electric items turned on when the power is restored, the circuits can be overloaded causing additional outages.”
Safety of the entire community is paramount. Anyone who encounters a downed power line is warned to stay clear and call 9-1-1.
Cooperative offices will be manned 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.