Electric companies ready to respond to outages

Published 5:11 pm Monday, August 3, 2020

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With impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias expected Monday evening, local power companies have additional resources standing by to respond to outages.


Stepping up from its normal crew of about 30 linemen, Tideland EMC has called in an additional 60 personnel from across North Carolina and Georgia, according to Tideland Corporate Communications Manager Heidi Smith.

“Right now, we believe we have an adequate number of linemen and tree clearing crews,” Smith said. “Based on the forecast, it will be an overnight event. At daylight, we’ll send out damage assessment teams and that means we’ll be able to get a full day of work in.”

Smith said that due to COVID-19, Tideland is requesting that the public not approach linemen and repair crews. The most efficient way to report a Tideland outage is to text the word “OUT” to short code 85700. Otherwise, call 800-882-1001. Tideland also posts regular updates to social media, and a full outage map can be found at www.tidelandemc.com.


Duke Energy, which provides electricity for many customers on the south side of the Pamlico, has also called in additional resources, according to a Monday press release from the company. A total of 600 additional lineman will arrive in the state Tuesday, coming from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Florida.

In an interview with WRAL, a spokeswoman from the company explained that crews are working in smaller groups due to the pandemic, and trying to keep crews separated from one another for health reasons. As such, that may add on to response times for certain types of outages. Like Tideland, Duke Energy has also requested the public refrain from approaching repair crews due to COVID-19.

To report a Duke Energy outage, call 800-419-6356 or report online at duke-energy.com. A full outage map can be found on the site as well.


According to a Sunday update from the City of Washington, line crews from Washington Electric Utilities will be on standby throughout the storm to repair any outages when it is safe to do so. The city also has a mutual aid agreement in place with Electricities and the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency to provide additional linemen if needed.

“We have two additional crews on standby, along with all city staff,” Washington City Manager Jonathan Russell said.


Belhaven Town Manager Lynn Davis says crews are on standby there as well, and the town has a mutual aid agreement with Washington to help perform repairs if needed.

“We will be acting in the safest manner possible to restore power as quickly as possible, should we lose power,” Davis said.