CARTERET COUNTY — More than half of county residents lost power during the peak of Hurricane Dorian Thursday night into Friday, but by Saturday morning, the majority of outages had been restored.
As of about 8 a.m. Saturday, online outage maps indicate there are around 5,600 total power outages in the county between the area’s two utility providers – Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative and Duke Energy Progress. About 4,500 of those outages are Duke customers, while the other 1,100 are CCEC members.
Around 42,000 people were without power during the peak of Dorian Thursday into Friday, according to the county. The outages were countywide, with residents in the dark from Bogue Banks to Down East.
CCEC Communications Director Lisa Galizia said Saturday line crews have been working tirelessly since it was safe enough to do so to restore power to members. She said they hope to have all or most people with the lights back on by the end of the weekend.
“We had definitely prepared for the worst, we learned lessons from (Hurricane) Florence and were well-prepared and that has paid off,” she told the News-Times.
With the exception of Cedar Island and Atlantic, which were particularly hard hit by Dorian, Ms. Galizia said as of Saturday morning, all circuits are energized. Crews went street-by-street and even house-by-house checking on damage and making repairs.
CCEC received help from sister energy cooperatives throughout the state, including about 90 line crews and support personnel from EnergyUnited, Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation, Blue Ridge Energy and Wake Electric. The energy co-op also had support from contract crews with Volt Power and Temple Tree Service.
“These crews, they’re as motivated to get the power back on as people to get their power back on,” Ms. Galizia said. “There’s nothing that drives them more than being able to turn the switch and turn the power on. That’s what they live for, it’s beyond a job, it’s a passion.”
Ms. Galizia said while linemen usually get the glory for helping restore power, those behind the scenes were also an invaluable help. She said they had teams cooking meals, fielding phone calls and providing support before, during and after the storm.
“It is a team effort. We always thank the linemen, but I have to say these folks behind the scenes are some motivated, dedicated people, as well,” she said.
As for Duke Energy, the company said in its latest release Friday crews are restoring power while simultaneously conducting damage assessments. Duke staged more than 9,000 line workers in advance of the storm.
The company estimates complete power restoration could take several days, depending on the extent of damage and crews’ ability to access remote areas.
Duke asks drivers to be conscious of line crews working along the roadside to restore power. North Carolina law requires drivers to slow down and move their vehicles over as far as safely possible when approaching and passing roadside utility crews making power line repairs.
The company also provides the following tips when dealing with downed power lines:
- Stay away from fallen or sagging power lines and also keep children and pets away from power lines.
- Consider all power lines, as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with power lines, energized and dangerous.
- Beware of storm debris that might conceal fallen or sagging power lines.
- Report all power line hazards at 800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.
Online power outages maps can be found at outage.carteretcraven.coop and outagemaps.duke-energy.com/#/current-outages/ncsc.
Contact Elise Clouser at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 229; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.