GREENVILLE, N.C. — Greenville Utilities has been keeping an eye on Hurricane Ian and is ready to respond as necessary. Crews are checking and positioning equipment and supplies to most efficiently be available to help restore power in case of any outages. As is the case every day and night, crews are on standby, ready to respond if needed.
If the storm does cause power outages or other system damage, customers are asked to call the toll-free Emergency Hotline, 1-855-767-2482 (1-855-SOS-2-GUC). Electric outages can also be reported via their website at guc.com/storm-central. GUC is asking customers to please use the hotline and the website (instead of social media) to report outages as those are tied directly into the system and will get crews to you the quickest. Social media is not monitored 24/7, so it may be hours before your message is seen.
Customers are asked to make sure their cell phone numbers are associated with their account before the storm approaches. Those who do will receive text messages if they are impacted by an outage. Customers can go to guc.com, login to their account, and update the User Profile. If they prefer, they can use the online website chat or call 252-752-7166 during regular business hours for assistance with updating their account.
Information about outages (such as how many customers are affected and how long until the power comes back on) can be found on the GUC outage map at guc.com/outage-map. The map shows where outages have been reported, as well as when outages are confirmed, an estimate of the number of customers affected and the anticipated time of restoration.
If winds exceed 35 miles per hour, crews will not be able to safely respond to outages and will take shelter until the winds allow for safe restoration operations to resume.
GUC will provide regular updates via its website (guc.com), Facebook (facebook.com/GreenvilleUtilities), Twitter (twitter.com/guc_info), and on GUCtv Cable Channel 35.
If your power goes out, GUC offers the following tips:
- 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. DO NOT TOUCH ANY DOWNED POWER LINES OR ANYTHING THAT IS IN CONTACT WITH A DOWNED POWER LINE.
- 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. DO NOT TOUCH ANY DOWNED POWER LINES OR ANYTHING THAT IS IN CONTACT WITH A DOWNED POWER LINE.
- 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.
- Use flashlights instead of candles or kerosene lamps for lighting. This reduces the risk of fire when the fire department may not be able to respond.
- If using a generator, make sure it is in a well-ventilated area. Only connect it to your home’s electrical system if it has been wired for a generator by a licensed electrician.
- An unopened refrigerator will keep foods safely cold for about 4 hours without power. Most freezers will keep food safe for 36 to 48 hours if left closed.
- To prevent overloading the system when power is restored, when the power goes out, turn off everything in your home except for one light. If the outage lasts over 60 minutes, turn off your water heater too. In addition, make sure the surface elements on your range have been turned off and that other heat producing appliances are off as well. If left on, they can pose a serious fire hazard.
- When power has been restored, slowly switch your appliances back on over a 30-60 minute period of time. This will prevent overloading the system, which could lead to another outage.
- In a natural gas emergency, while you are waiting for repair service, do not light matches, use appliances, or talk on the phone. If it is safe to do so, leave the premises.
- If you evacuate, shut off electricity at the breaker box. Take blankets, first aid supplies, and other essential items to the nearest shelter.