September 6, 2008
Progress Energy Responding to Outages From Hanna
To: STATE EDITORS
Contact: Corporate Communications 24-Hour Media Line, +877-641- NEWS (6397)
RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A strong Tropical Storm Hanna came ashore at 3:20 a.m., bringing high winds and heavy rains to much of Progress Energy Carolinas' service area, and the company has deployed hundreds of company and contract workers to restore service as quickly and safely as possible.
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As of 8 a.m., about 55,000 customers were without power. Most of those customers are in coastal areas and in the coastal plain east of Interstate 95. Crews are also working to restore service in the Triangle and surrounding areas, as well as the Sandhills. About 1,000 customers in South Carolina were also without power.
Since the storm is still moving through the service area, the number of outages is expected to rise over the next several hours. Progress Energy will provide updates every four hours through the day. The next update is scheduled for noon.
Progress Energy has supplemented the normal complement of 300 line & service and tree crews in Eastern North Carolina with more than 100 additional line and tree personnel and scores of additional damage assessors and support staff. Additional crews are scheduled to move east, if needed, once outages in the Triangle and Sandhills are cleared.
The company is conducting damage assessment across a large area this morning, and expects to have additional information on outage restoration later today.
"Our crews are in the field, making good progress on the outages already reported," said Hershell McCarty, Progress Energy Carolinas' system storm coordinator. "We know any outage is unwelcome for our customers and we're working to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. In some areas we expect storm restoration to be completed fairly quickly, but where there is more substantial damage, the restoration will take longer."
The company's storm plan includes mobilizing employees to handle increased customer calls, to quickly evaluate storm damage, to coordinate line crew and equipment mobilization, to coordinate materials required for repairs, and to arrange meals and lodging for out-of-town workers.
Progress Energy works to minimize storm impacts year-round through preventive maintenance, including trimming of trees around the company's 6,000 miles of transmission lines and 60,000 miles of electric distribution lines. Wind-blown trees and limbs are the leading cause of power outages during storms.
Customers and media can find outage information on Progress Energy's Web site at http://www.progress-energy.com/outagemap. During major events such as storms, the map will be updated several times a day.
The quickest way to report an outage during a storm is to call the automated outage-reporting system at 1-800-419-6356. For the latest information, visit Progress Energy's storm site online at http://www.progress-energy.com/storm.
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 energy company with more than 21,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $9 billion in annual revenues. The company will observe a century of operation in 2008. Progress Energy includes two major utilities that serve 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. Progress Energy is the 2006 recipient of the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence. The company also is the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. Progress Energy serves two fast-growing areas of the country, and the company is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at http://www.progress-energy.com.
SOURCE Progress Energy
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