Roanoke Electric Cooperative works to get power back to customers

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 22, 2003


RICH SQUARE – As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, Roanoke Electric Cooperative was reporting approximately 3,900 of their 14,500 customers were receiving service, but there is still no definite word on when full power will be restored.

Marshall Cherry, a spokesperson for the company, stated that as of 8 p.m. Thursday, all of Roanoke Electric’s customers were without power.

&uot;Currently, the majority of our customers in Halifax County are receiving service with the exception of those served by our Gum Fork substation (in Rich Square),&uot; Cherry stated.

&uot;The Gum Fork substation, which is currently not receiving any electricity from transmission sources, serves many customers in Northampton County as well.

&uot;Those Northampton County customers receiving service from our substation in Jackson should all have power with the exception of those near Diamond Grove Tower,&uot; Cherry said.

&uot;Our Aulander, Lewiston Woodville, Conway and Mapleton substations are currently receiving power, and we are working all primary lines in those areas to restore electricity,&uot; he added.

Cherry said transmission problems going into the substations, broken poles resulting in hurricane and gale force winds and debris that has fallen into the power lines from the trees are the major contributors to the cooperative’s current outage condition.

&uot;The cooperative has 12 substations in Bertie, Gates, Halifax, Hertford and Northampton counties,&uot; Cherry said. &uot;Our Halifax, Roanoke Rapids, Aulander, Lewiston and Jackson substations are all receiving power, and we have restored service to all meters on the Halifax and Roanoke Rapids substations.

&uot;We are working to restore power on primary lines, then secondary lines and individual services to those substations that are energized at this time,&uot; he added.

With the extensiveness of the storm, Roanoke EC turned to additional crews from across the state.

&uot;Currently we have crews from Lee Electric, Sumter Builders, Utilicom, Lewis Tree Service, Little River EMC, John Olson Tree Service, Rutherford EMC, Piedmont EMC, Berkley EMC, Edgecombe Martin EMC, Pike Electric, Halifax EMC, Lumbee River EMC and Newberry EC who are assisting in the restoration process,&uot; Cherry said.

&uot;We have over 275 line personnel currently working to get power restored,&uot; he added.

Cherry also stated the Civil Air Partol provided flyover of the entire system, and this provided a good assessment of the damages.

&uot;We would really like to thank them for providing that service,&uot; Cherry said. &uot;We also want to thank our members for their understanding during this period.&uot;

Cherry said process was slow due to the extensive damage from the trees and broken poles.

&uot;We should have more services restored for customers served by our Lewiston Woodville, Jackson, Mapleton and Conway substations today (Monday),&uot; he stated.

&uot;Northampton, Hertford, Gates and Bertie counties were hit the hardest, and it could be realistically several days before power is restored completely to all of these areas,&uot; he concluded.