RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cooperative crews continue to make progress in Irene's aftermath, restoring power to more than 95 percent of members by 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. In total, the lights are back on for more than 145,000 households in co-op territories.
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. CHEC 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.
SOURCE North Carolina's electric cooperatives