RALEIGH — Seven of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives — including Pee Dee EMC in Wadesboro — sent line crews, totaling nearly 160 people, to Virginia, Maryland and western North Carolina, to assist electric cooperatives with power restoration efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the winter storm. In addition to Pee Dee EMC, the North Carolina cooperatives that sent crews, including equipment and trucks, are: Central EMC, based in Sanford; EnergyUnited, Statesville; Randolph EMC, Asheboro; Rutherford EMC, Forest City; South River EMC, Dunn. Brunswick EMC, Shallotte, sent crews to western North Carolina to assist Blue Ridge EMC, Lenoir, with outage restoration.
The deployment of crews is part of a mutual aid agreement shared between the nation’s nearly 1,000 electric cooperatives to help one another in times of emergency, such as natural disasters. Electric cooperatives across the country use the same line system engineering standards, which means line crews from any part of the country can quickly help sister cooperatives in restoration efforts.
“Electricity is critical to the way we live, and it’s important that people affected by this storm have power restored as quickly as possible,” said Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president of corporate relations for the N.C. Association of Electric Cooperatives. “We are happy to help our fellow cooperatives and know that they would do the same for us because it’s the cooperative way.”
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve approximately 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties and maintain nearly 98,000 miles of power lines.