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Duke says power could be out a week for many; BEMC has restored about half its customers

Revised on: 09.16.2018 at 02:02 p.m.

Posted on: 09.16.2018 at 01:17 p.m.

A Duke Energy spokesperson said Sunday morning that most of Columbus County can expect to be out of power potentially for a week.

Jeff Brooks said that problems with main transmission lines coming into the county are the main culprit.

Heather Holbrook, supervisor of Marketing Communications for Brunswick Electric, said the cooperative has about half its customers in Columbus County back on line.

BEMC has 12,323 meters in Columbus, and 6,019 were without service at noon Sunday.

Holbrook said BEMC has back-fed many of its lines, or rerouted sources to them, to provide power. There are about 500 crewmembers working to restore power in Columbus County, but flooding is preventing access to many areas. Brunswick County has also been hard-hit, she said.

Duke’s crews have mostly not been able to start repairs due to high winds, and now major flooding, Brooks said.

“We have extensive outages across eastern North Carolina and Columbus County,” he said. “We have a lot of challenges. We’re still facing some storm conditions, but flooding is the main culprit now. Our ability to move crews along flooded roads is also an issue.

“We’re potentially looking at a week or more for many customers.”

Brooks said most Duke customers in the county, more than 16,000, are without powers.

Brooks said that repairing the transmission lines is a priority, but that flooded substations are another issue.

“Think of the transmission lines as the interstate and the substations as the off ramps,” he said. “You’ve got to have both to have power.”

Duke will look will to reroute power from other areas where possible.

 

 

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