Tideland EMC Nearing Finish Line
PANTEGO, N.C., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – An email from a long time Tideland EMC member gives bleak testimony to the damages Hurricane Irene inflicted on the electric co-op’s territory:
“Irene completely destroyed our place. We will not be rebuilding. Thank you for the great service you gave us over the past 15 years. You have a great task before you in restoring power to so many. I pray for the safety of your workers as they go about their tasks. Our place was at the South Creek community. There was much devastation there. Do not restore power to this meter. May God bless you and we will miss you.”
The email was signed “A very sad ex-customer, Noel Council.”
Council, in his seventies, had recently taken a series of photos of the once pristine shoreline and had them pieced together to create a Panoramic image of the community. Today he picked up extra copies of the Panoramic photo from Costco in Raleigh to mail to friends who were long time neighbors before Saturday’s wind and water.
Five days into storm restoration efforts, Tideland EMC has reestablished service to 86 percent of its electric system. Some services, like Council’s, will never be restored.
“At this time we are unable to restore electric service to an estimated 210 locations in Pamlico, Hyde and Beaufort counties,” reports Tideland chief executive officer and general manager Paul Spruill. “The structures have either failed to pass a required building inspection or are awaiting repairs to the consumer owned meter base or in a few instances the structure is simply nowhere to be found. We hope to finalize numbers related to lost structure or those unavailable for service with respective county building inspectors within the next few days.”
On Thursday, more than 180 tree trimmers and line crews reported for duty before daybreak to combat downed trees, damaged poles, broken cross arms and mile after mile of stripped wire. Over 10,000 man hours have been worked thus far to restore service to Tideland’s six county territory.
Ocracoke residents remain under generator power. The fate of the island’s transmission service rests with Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative to the north on Hatteras Island.
Tideland EMC offices will remain closed for business while employees fully focus their efforts on power restoration. The co-op will re-open for normal business operations on Tuesday, September 6.
Meters Off By County As of 5:00 PM, Thursday, September 01, 2011
Washington County 53
Beaufort County 2,148
Hyde County 131
Pamlico County 681
Craven County 127
SOURCE Tideland EMC