SUPPLY, N.C. (Sept. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m.) – Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) restored power to thousands of members on Sunday after Duke Energy reenergized transmission lines affecting BEMC’s Prospect substation in Brunswick County.
By 7:30 pm Sunday approximately 22,000 BEMC members were without power, the majority of who were impacted by storm damage to the circuits, poles, and distribution lines that supply power to the rural and coastal communities within the electric cooperative’s 1,500 square mile territory.
“Prolonged outages are frustrating, and we thank our membership for their patience,” said Heather Holbrook, BEMC spokesperson. “Please know every single cooperative member who is without power is on our minds and is a part of our cooperative’s restoration plan. The rising water and flooded roads have made initial restoration a tremendous challenge, but it is one we have dedicated all our resources to.
BEMC crews are repairing extensive storm damage and are backed by a growing number of reinforcements from peer electric cooperatives in and out of state, as well as contract crews, tree removal experts and other support specialists. Damage is so widespread that it could take this army of restoration personnel several more days or even weeks to fully restore power in Brunswick and Columbus counties, particularly where there is extreme flooding and in areas where trees pulled down power lines and winds snapped poles.
Regarding the percentage of co-op members who are still without power, BEMC’s General Manager and CEO Don Hughes said, “Please know that we share your frustration on every level; our only goal is to get power back on as quickly and safely as possible. The reality is, however, that some members may not see electricity restored for many days.”
Brunswick Electric always puts safety first and encourages members to do so as well. Please do not go out on the roads unless absolutely necessary. Keeping the roads clear will help first responders do their jobs and allow restoration crews access to impacted areas. Additionally, many road shoulders are saturated or inaccessible, which means crews will have to set up their trucks and equipment on the road in some locations. Help us keep our linemen safe.
Please continue to report damage as well as outages to (800) 682-5309. Stay tuned to the facts at bemc.org for the outage map, all storm press releases and safety information, and follow Brunswick Electric on Facebook and Twitter.
BEMC is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit corporation. It is the second largest electric cooperative in North Carolina and serves nearly 97,000 member locations in Brunswick, Columbus, and parts of Bladen and Robeson counties. Founded in 1939, BEMC has a longstanding commitment to the communities it serves, providing support for a wide variety of activities that contribute to the quality of life for all citizens.