South River EMC is preparing to respond to damage in the wake of Hurricane Isaias later this week.
The electric cooperative has been busy at work preparing vehicles to be ready for restoration efforts immediately following the storm. The Cooperative is prepared to bring in assistance from other electric cooperatives and tree expert companies if needed.
This storm is expected to move across the area quickly dropping several inches of rain accompanied by tropical-storm force winds. This combination can result in a large number of fallen trees and branches, broken utility poles, fallen power lines and flooding. The Cooperative stands ready to spring into action as soon as conditions are safe.
“Safety is our number one priority,” said Catherine O’Dell, VP of Member Services and PR. “In order to ensure the safety of our personnel, who are dedicated to restoring service as quickly as possible, we cannot have anyone in a bucket when wind speeds exceed 35 miles per hour.
“We learned with previous storms that flooded roads pose a special danger for our big trucks, especially at night when it’s impossible to determine if a road is flooded or possibly washed out. Additionally, flooding impedes the ability to maneuver across the area.”
The Cooperative advises members to prepare for outages that can last several days. Each home should have emergency supplies to last that long. Having a plan is especially important if there is someone in the home with special needs.
“We recommend that anyone with reliance on electricity make sure they have a generator with plenty of fuel or battery backup to last at least one week,” said O’Dell. “If neither of these options is available, we highly recommend evacuating to one of the area shelters.”
South River EMC is committed to restoring all electric service as quickly as possible once the storm passes. If a member experiences a power outage, they can call 910.892.8071 and either follow the automated prompts to report an outage or speak to a representative. The simplest way to report an outage it via text. To enroll, South River EMC members can text SREMCTEXT to 888.338.5530 and follow the prompts. Enrollment should happen as soon as possible since it takes up to 24 hours for a new account to activate.
Outages and restoration efforts can be monitored by following South River EMC on Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the Cooperative’s web site www.sremc.com features a real-time system map so anyone can see where outages are occurring and how many people are impacted.
“We are all hoping that all of our efforts this week will result in a drill rather than a post-storm restoration event,” said O’Dell. “However, in our business it is best to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.”
South River EMC, a local Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is a locally owned not-for-profit electric cooperative that provides electric service to over 45,000 homes, farms and businesses in parts of Harnett, Sampson, Cumberland, Johnston and Bladen counties.