As this storm approaches, we will have more updates.
In a press release, the company, which supplies electricity to Ocracoke and five other counties, said it activated its emergency response plan on Sept. 7 in preparation for Florence.
“Based on the Wednesday morning forecast, conditions are expected to be much more favorable in the Tideland service area in terms of wind speed,” the release said. “Because storm surge, rainfall totals and the duration of tropical force winds remain less certain, the co-op will maintain maximum level of readiness until this weather event concludes.”
Additional crews from Alabama, Georgia and Connecticut have arrived in Beaufort and Craven counties where they will be housed until power restoration activities can safely begin. The extra personnel will consist of line workers and tree removal crews and will triple Tideland’s existing repair workforce.
Tideland crews will respond to outages as they occur until 10 p.m. or if sustained winds reach 40 mph and higher at which time the co-op will suspend restoration activities to ensure employee safety.
Should the storm result in widespread outages, power restoration work will begin after daytime damage assessments take place. The co-op has assets lined up to conduct aerial damage assessments in areas that may be impassable due to flooding.
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, under-sized or ungrounded extension cords into any generator. Always treat downed electric lines as potentially energized even when utility service is off.
Tideland members should report power outages by calling 1-800-882·1001. The public may track power restoration progress via the cooperative’s website, tidelandemc.com, which includes a link to Tideland’s outage map and social media accounts.