SUPPLY, N.C. (Sept. 19, 2018, 4:30 p.m.) – Fewer than 2,000 members remain without power as Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) continues restoration efforts due to massive damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. The existing outages are concentrated in the hardest-hit areas that the electric cooperative serves in Brunswick and Columbus counties.
Navigating the hazards of extreme flooding, particularly near the border between Columbus and Robeson counties in the Boardman and the Crusoe communities, crews face conditions that complicate their efforts to restore power. The Town Creek community in northeastern Brunswick County is also without electricity.
“Prolonged outages are frustrating, and electric co-op members are thanked for their patience, as well as the gratitude some have shared with restoration personnel,” said Heather Holbrook, spokesperson for BEMC. “Please know, every single cooperative member who is still without power is very important to us and we will work as quickly and safely as possible to return the essential service of electricity to all.”
At one point totaling more than 500 crew members, BEMC’s line technicians and support crews have systematically repaired widespread damage to thousands of circuits, poles, and distribution lines to restore power to the more than 92,000 members who lost power during the recent hurricane. Joining BEMC’s highly-trained and storm experienced line technicians were hundreds of support contractors who arrived last week prepared to restore power, help clear fallen trees that pulled down power lines, and replace transformers and poles that snapped in winds up to 95 mph.
“Our job is not over yet, but we want to thank the crews from near and far who have been working hard alongside us to restore power in the last few days,” said Don Hughes, BEMC General Manager and CEO. “It truly is a team effort to recover and resume service after such an extreme storm. The co-op will continue to work until every last member is on.”
Crews from many states provided assistance, and the cooperative wants to thank every organization, including co-ops who were trying to get here from Florida. Thanks to Asplundh, Bryant Tree, Bulk Power, Central Florida, Clay Electric, Clemmons Tree, Cullman, Dixie, Florida Keys, Glades, Infratech, Jackson EMC, Lee Electric, New South, Peace River, Pike, Sand Mountain, Seelbach, Sumter Utilities, Talquin, Tri-County, W.A. Kendall, and Withlacoochee.
Please report outages or damage by calling (800) 842-5871 and speak to a Customer Service Representative between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Visit bemc.org for the outage map, all storm 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.