Utility crews preparing for effects, results locally from Elsa


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — As Elsa moves towards Eastern North Carolina, utility crews are making sure they’re prepared for the worst.

“We’re worried about storms every day of the year,” said Steve Hawley, public information officer for Greenville Utilities.

Hawley knows his crews are ready to roll and respond to whatever conditions Elsa brings. Wind and rain are his biggest concerns.

“That could get the ground all loosened up to blow over trees that could potentially knock down power lines,” said Hawley.

His team will watch the conditions and route crews to problem areas in the Command Center.

“We have folks that are on schedule, we have folks that are on standby, and we’re ready to go,” said Hawley.

Workers with Greenville Utilities and Duke Energy are removing trees and cutting back limbs that could be a threat all year.

“We’ve also been installing self-healing equipment that automatically detects outages, isolates it to a certain segment of line, and reroutes power around it,” said Meghan Miles with Duke Energy.

Those improvements decrease the number of people impacted by outages but don’t get rid of the possibility you could be in the dark.

“It’s always a good idea for customers to be prepared for an outage and have an emergency kit ready,” said Miles. “They should have non-perishable foods, water, have their cellphones charged so they can get the latest information.”

If you see a downed power line, both companies want you to report it.

“Don’t touch it, don’t go near it, and don’t touch fences that are nearby because you don’t know if it’s touching the fence and those metal fences can easily conduct electricity,” said Hawley.

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