Power restored to Ocracoke Island; other utility providers on st - WNCT

Power restored to Ocracoke Island; other utility providers on standby for outages

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. - The power is back on for around 1,300 people on Ocracoke Island.

Tideland Electric Membership Corporation first reported the outage around 5:30 Wednesday morning. Crews worked for several hours to repair downed power lines and a broken crossarm structure. It was restored around 12:30 then went back around around 2. It was later restored at 4:30 p.m.

About six spans of power line also fell to the ground, the result of a phenomenon known as galloping lines. The “galloping” effect happens when ice builds up on power lines and wind blows consistently in one direction causing the ice to form like the wing of an airplane around the line. As wind gusts pick up, it causes lines to blow around like they’re actually galloping. The phenomenon puts tremendous amounts of stress on utility poles, cross arms and conductors. 

Greenville Utilities says there are no reports of outages or other storm-related emergencies currently. Their public information officer says "light and powdery" snow won’t be an issue with power, but heavy and wet snow or ice could pose a threat. If you do have an outage, call their toll-free Hotline at 1-855-767-2482.

Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative has seen little in the way of outages related to the winter storm. They did see some scattered outages, that for the most part were blown fuses related to high demand for electricity. Those fuses have since been replaced with larger ones to handle the load.

Here are some tips for if you do experience a power outage:

·       If your power goes out, check to see if the outage includes other houses in your neighborhood. If it hasn't, check your fuse box and circuit breaker panel to see if you can locate the problem. If the neighboring houses are dark too, look to see if there are any trees or branches in the lines, and if there are downed wires, flashes of light or any other sign of trouble.

·       Don't touch or attempt to move an electric lines or trees or any other obstacles in contact with electric lines. Stay well away from dangerous areas. If a wire falls on your car while you're in it, stay in the car until the wire is removed.

·       Sometimes tree limbs fall on the wires coming from the pole to your house with such force that the wiring and meter base are pulled from the house. In this case, you must call an electrician to make repairs before GUC can restore your power.

·       Be assured that our power restoration plan follows industry-proven best practices for systematically restoring power to the greatest number of customers in the quickest amount of time, as safely and efficiently as possible.

Transmission lines, substations and primary lines (serving hundreds of people) are repaired first, followed by secondary lines serving only a few. And, of course, life threatening situations, the hospital and other facilities that are essential to public health and safety are a priority.
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