Officials: Hurricane Florence slows, extended outages possible

Hurricane Central
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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – As Hurricane Florence prepares to make landfall sometime in the next several days, Berkeley Electric Cooperative is urging its members to prepare for extended outages.

The news release states that this is especially important for members who have medical needs requiring power. Berkeley Electric Cooperative cannot guarantee uninterrupted power during a major outage and will not be able to provide a timeline for restoration until after the storm has passed and the damage to the system can be evaluated.

All coastal counties remain under a mandatory evacuation notice due to the potential for extensive damage from rain, wind and storm surge, officials added. The storm surge could result in coastal flooding which may close roadways and hinder our ability to respond to outages. Additionally, given that much of our distribution system is underground in these areas, crews may have to wait for flood waters to recede before beginning restoration efforts. 

Berkeley Electric Cooperative will have crews on-site at key locations to monitor water levels. In the event that water levels threaten to flood our substations the decision will be made to shut them down before suffering catastrophic damage. Although this may be inconvenient this process will actually speed up recovery times.

Berkeley Electric Cooperative is fully staffed and prepared to handle any potential outages resulting from Hurricane Florence. The cooperative has also secured mutual aid from neighboring states to supply additional personnel, if needed. Please be aware that crews will not be able to begin restoration efforts until after sustained wind speeds are under 39 mph – due to work safety.

During a major outage, our goal is always to safely and quickly restore power to the largest number of members possible. At times, this may mean that individual outages could be without power for a longer period of time but rest assured that our employees are fully committed to recovery efforts until the last member is restored. 

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