Thousands without power in wake of Dorian. Here's what electric cooperatives are doing

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Thousands were without power Friday morning in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Restoration crews had ventured out to make repairs.

Tri-County outages

The following outages were reported among Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation customers as of 7 a.m.:

Wayne County:  2,436
Duplin County:  2,781
Lenoir:  2,870
Johnston County:  1
Jones County:  47
Wilson County:  14

Tri-County reported it had 8,149 members without power in its system at 6:21 a.m. when it lost transmission to its LaGrange and Hardy substations with issues in the Beulaville station.

Power should be restored later Friday in most areas, according to a Tri-County release.

South River Electric

A total of 6,004 South River Electric customers were without power in Sampson County Friday morning. The electric membership corporation began its day with 7,121 of its 45,000 members in the dark.

The bulk of the outages - nearly 6,500 - were the result of a Duke Energy transmission line outage, according to a release from South River EMC. The majority of those outages were in Sampson County, followed by 463 in Bladen County, 447 in Cumberland County, 106 in Johnston and 96 in Harnett.

"Today's goal is to make repairs and resume electric service to members as quickly as is safely possible," the release stated. "South River EMC's crews are joined by 130 additional line personnel and tree crews from other electric cooperatives, tree companies and contractors."

South River planned to follow these steps in the restoration process:

  1. Transmission lines: Transmission lines supply power to one or more substations; therefore, they must be repaired first.
  2.  Substations: If a problem occurs in a substation, hundreds, possibly thousands of members are without power.
  3. Main Distribution Lines: Lines coming out of substations that deliver electricity to homes and businesses. The feeders are repaired in the order of three-phase, two-phase, single-phase and service drops to individual homes.

"While the power is out, people are encouraged to turn off their air conditioners, all appliances and lights. This will help make the transition easier once electricity is restored," said Catherine O'Dell, South River spokeswoman and vice president of its member services. "If people have too many electric items turned on when the power is restored, the circuits can be overloaded causing additional outages."

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