Special to Iredell Free News
More than 110 lineworkers from 11 of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, including 20 lineworkers from EnergyUnited, are traveling to Alabama to help restore power to thousands of people who were left in the dark because of Hurricane Sally.
“Cooperation among cooperatives is an important principle that supports mutual aid agreements and power restoration efforts in the aftermath of major storms,” said Maureen Moore, communications manager for EnergyUnited. “EnergyUnited is proud to uphold this principle and assist in these restoration efforts.”
Upon arrival, the North Carolina co-op crews will support Baldwin EMC, Alabama’s largest electric cooperative, in efforts to restore power to 78,000 consumer-members.
The North Carolina cooperatives sending crews include: Albemarle EMC, Blue Ridge Energy, Brunswick Electric, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, Central Electric, EnergyUnited, Four County EMC, Halifax EMC, Lumbee River EMC, Pee Dee Electric and Piedmont Electric.
“We are always happy to send help to our fellow cooperatives,” said Steve McCachern, director of engineering services for EnergyUnited. “In the past we have been hit by many storms and our fellow cooperatives have always assisted us in our time of need — our employees are always happy to have an opportunity to return the favor.”
Reports of downed trees and power lines, broken power poles and flooding have been coming in from across Baldwin EMC’s service area. Because of the extensive damage, including damage to transmission lines that feed substations, Baldwin EMC has cautioned its members to prepare for prolonged outages.
“We don’t want to sugarcoat this; we’re in it for the long haul,” the co-op said on Twitter.
To ensure safety during this time, North Carolina’s electric cooperative crews will implement the same expanded, pandemic-related measures that they have taken at home. These include working in smaller groups with increased physical distancing, limited sharing of equipment and stringent cleaning and disinfection practices.
EnergyUnited Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) is the largest electric cooperative in North Carolina serving more than 130,000 metering points. Headquartered in Statesville, EnergyUnited provides electric service in portions of nineteen counties in west central North Carolina which include Alexander, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stokes, Wilkes and Yadkin. EnergyUnited Propane provides products and services to more than 23,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 100 counties across Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Visit EnergyUnited online at www.energyunited.com to learn more about the co-op’s electric and propane businesses.