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South River EMC Enters Assessment and Restoration Period

As the winds and rains from Hurricane Dorian begin to dwindle, South River EMC starts the day with 7,121 of its 45,000 members without electric service. The bulk of the outages (nearly 6500) are the result of a Duke Energy transmission line outage.  The majority of the outages, 6004, are in Sampson County, with 463 in Bladen, 447 in Cumberland, 106 in Johnston and 96 in Harnett.

The line crews will meet for breakfast and a safety briefing before restoration efforts commence. This morning the restoration teams will be deployed across the system to assess damage and formulate a plan for repair and restoration. Moreover, South River EMC management will be in contact with Duke Energy Progress to monitor efforts toward repairs to the transmission line.

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

The Cooperative’s restoration process is as follows:

  • Transmission Lines: Transmission lines supply power to one or more substations; therefore, they must be repaired first.

  • Substations: If a problem occurs in a substation, hundreds, possibly thousands, of members are without impacted.

  • 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 lines and service drops to individual homes.

The Cooperative continues to remind members to turn off all electric items in their home to aid restoration.

“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 VP of Member Services and PR Catherine O’Dell.  “If people have too many electric items turned on when the power is restored, the circuits can be overloaded causing additional outages.”

Safety continues to be a priority for both emergency personnel and the community. Anyone who encounters a downed power line should always assume it is energized, stay clear and call 9-1-1.

Anyone using a generator should follow basic safety tips.

“A portable generator should never be operated inside a home or garage,” said O’Dell. “A generator should never be connected directly to the home’s wiring, unless a transfer switch has been installed by a licensed electrician. Additionally, only three-pronged extension cords should be used and people need to take care not to overload their generator. Finally, it is essential that refueling is conducted when the generator is off and has cooled adequately.”

South River EMC members can monitor restoration by checking the Cooperative’s real-time system map at  or follow South River EMC on Facebook and Twitter.

South River EMC, a local Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is a locally owned not-for-profit electric cooperative providing electric service to over 45,000 homes, farms and businesses in parts of Harnett, Sampson, Cumberland, Johnston and Bladen counties.

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