By Editors of Power Engineering
Nearly 30,000 workers are working to restore electricity to approximately 1.2 million customers of Edison Electric Institute member companies, the organization reported this weekend.
All told, over 3.2 million customers of EEI member companies were impacted.
EEI President Tom Kuhn said while the initial priority will be safety and power restoration, workers are also assessing overall damage to the energy infrastructure where they can.
“While Hurricane Matthew has gone out to sea, conditions remain hazardous in many locations,” he said. “In some communities, flooding and downed trees have made roads impassable, creating challenges in the effort to assess damages.”
In addition to having workers deployed 24 hours a day, the industry’s mutual assistance networks have been activated, and company requests for restoration workers have been fulfilled.
“The mutual assistance network is truly a hallmark of our industry,” said Kuhn.
However, full power restoration may take some time. Duke Energy officials said that their utility alone has nearly 12,000 workers in the field in North Carolina, with half of them brought in from other companies, though full restoration might take a week.
As of Monday, Duke has 550,000 customers without power, down from a peak of 680,000 on Sunday.