Tideland EMC prepared for Dorian

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, September 5, 2019

PANTEGO — Tideland Electric Membership Corporation, with offices in Ocracoke, Engelhard, Grantsboro and Pantego, activated its emergency response plan on Sept. 1 in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. Two of the six counties served by Tideland are under mandatory evacuation orders: Hyde and Dare. Based on the current forecast, Tideland EMC anticipates widespread outages in all six counties with power restoration activities lasting several days or longer.

All Tideland EMC offices are now closed to the public while employees focus on hurricane duties and will remain closed until further notice. Tideland line crews will be joined by eighty-one additional personnel from Virginia, South Carolina, and Maryland as well as in-state crews. The extra personnel have been pre-staged in area hotels and consist of line workers and tree removal crews, nearly tripling Tideland’s existing repair workforce.

The co-op anticipates suspending power restoration activities Thursday evening to ensure employee safety as weather conditions deterioriate. Power restoration work would resume in service areas deemed safe for travel after daytime damage assessments are complete. Tideland has partnered with Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative to conduct aerial damage assessments of our infrastructure on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

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 due to the potential for generator backfeed.

Tideland members should report power outages by calling 1-800-882-1001 or by texting OUT to short code 85700. 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.