UTILITIES UPDATE: Tideland EMC prepared For Florence

Published 12:28 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Tideland Electric Membership Corporation, with offices in Ocracoke, Engelhard, Grantsboro and Pantego, activated its emergency response plan on September 7 in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Based on the Wednesday morning forecast, conditions are expected to be much more favorable in the Tideland service area in terms of wind speed. Because storm surge, rainfall totals and the duration of tropical force winds remain less certain, the co-op will maintain maximum level of readiness until this weather event concludes.

Four of the six counties served by Tideland are under mandatory evacuation orders: Hyde, Dare Craven and Pamlico. In Beaufort County there are mandatory evacuation orders in place for those living in flood prone areas.

Additional crews are en route from Alabama, Georgia and Connecticut and will arrive in Beaufort and Craven counties today where they will be housed until power restoration activities can safely begin. The extra personnel will consist of line workers and tree removal crews and will triple Tideland’s existing repair workforce.

Tideland crews will respond to outages as they occur until 10:00 pm or if sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour at which time the co-op will suspend restoration activities to ensure employee safety.

Should the storm result in widespread outages, power restoration work will begin after daytime damage assessments take place. The co-op has assets lined up to conduct aerial damage assessments in areas that may be impassable due to flooding.

Individuals who depend on electrically powered medical equipment are advised to seek shelter at facilities with emergency generators in advance of the storm, especially in areas prone to flooding. Tideland EMC reminds all consumers that back-up generators can be deadly when not properly operated. Never connect a generator to household wiring without a properly installed transfer switch. Never refuel a generator when the engine is running and allow the unit to cool before adding gasoline. To avoid electrocution or carbon-monoxide poisoning, ground the generator properly and operate in a dry, well ventilated area. Finally, avoid plugging damaged, undersized or ungrounded extension cords into any generator. Always treat downed electric lines as potentially energized even when utility service is off.

Tideland members should report power outages by calling 1-800-882-1001. The public may track power restoration progress via the cooperative’s website, www.tidelandemc.com, which includes a link to Tideland’s outage map and social media accounts. Tideland EMC, an equal opportunity service provider and employer, is a member-owned distribution cooperative serving 22,600 accounts in Hyde, Beaufort, Pamlico, Dare, Washington and Craven counties.