Company’s crews making progress in areas where winds have subsided
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 27, 2011 – 8 p.m.) – Hurricane Irene is finally beginning to exit North Carolina this evening after a full day of heavy rain and severe winds. Hurricane Irene’s large size and slow movement have created significant power outages across central and eastern N.C.
The company anticipates it will take several days to complete repairs, especially in the hardest-hit areas. Once the damage assessment is completed by the end of Sunday, the company will provide a return to service estimate for all its customers.
As of 8 p.m., about 206,000 Progress Energy customers are without power. This is down from a peak of more than 279,700 at 2 p.m. North Carolina counties with the largest numbers of outages as of 8 p.m. included Carteret (24,000); New Hanover (23,000); Wayne (22,600); Craven (18,000); Onslow (16,000); Nash (16,000); Wake (12,500); and Lenoir (11,000). Numerous other counties had scattered outages from the coast to the Triangle.
Progress Energy crews will use helicopters, boats and all-terrain vehicles to assess major damage to transmission lines, substations and other infrastructure. Where possible, Progress Energy will be conducting repairs while the damage assessment is being completed. The company has more than 1000 line workers and tree crews ready to restore power in North Carolina.
The first repair priorities are transmission lines, high-voltage lines that deliver electricity from power plants to substations. From substations, electricity is delivered to communities by feeder and tap lines. Individuals receive power from service lines that branch off tap or feeder lines. After making repairs to the large transmission lines, transmission and substation crews join line and service crews in repairing tap and service lines.
Progress Energy encourages customers to ensure household safety and to call Progress Energy to report power outages at 1-800-419-6356. The company’s automated outage-reporting system can handle up to 120,000 calls per hour. The company’s website, www.progress-energy.com, provides detailed information and recommendations for reporting outages and staying abreast of developments.
The company's storm plan includes mobilizing employees to handle increased customer calls, to quickly evaluate storm damage, to coordinate line crew and equipment mobilization and to coordinate materials required for repairs.
New tools to track outages and restoration
Customers and media can find outage information on Progress Energy's website 24 hours a day at www.progress-energy.com/outagemap. The map is being updated at regular intervals throughout the day.
Progress Energy is also using social media channels to keep customers informed throughout the storm restoration process. The company will post regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/progressenergy and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProgressEnergyCarolinas.
Be safe after the storm
If the power goes out
For more storm and safety information, visit Progress Energy's storm site at www.progress-energy.com/storm.
Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008. Visit the company’s website at www.progress-energy.com.
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Contact: Corporate Communications 24-Hour Media Line 877.641.NEWS (6397)
Follow Progress Energy on Twitter at www.twitter.com/progressenergy.