DUNN N.C. (WNCN) – Between cleaning up from last weekend’s storm to preparing for the next, energy companies are not taking a break in keeping lights on across central North Carolina.
At South River Electric, trucks are fully loaded up with transformers, poles, and wire. The company covers parts of Cumberland, Harnett, Sampson, and Johnston counties — all of which could see more freezing rain or ice than the Triangle.
“Sometimes, just enough ice and wind can cause that tree to fall on the powerlines. Same with branches that can get blown into the powerline,” South River Electric Vice President Catherine O’Dell said.
While South River Electric’s coverage area did not see the brunt of last weekend’s storm, O’Dell said it helped get crews prepared early for the next round of winter weather.
“That just made us that more prepared for what’s coming in this week where it looks like we’re definitely going to end up with ice and snow,” O’Dell said.
Jeff Brooks with Duke Energy said they still have hundreds of crews on standby that came in from the Midwest for last weekend’s storm.
“It’s been an incredibly busy January, and if this is what 2022 is shaping up to be, we’re going to have a very busy year,” Brooks said.
Right now, the energy company is checking areas hit hardest over the weekend to make sure previous damage doesn’t leave lines vulnerable.
“Is there anywhere that needs a quick repair ahead of the storm? So, you may see some crews out just doing some scattered work today,” Brooks said.
But no storm is set in stone, making it hard to predict the next power outage.
“Where the dividing line is between snow and ice is where you really have to watch,” Brooks said. “Winter storms are really hard to predict because a mile or two and a few degrees will make the difference in the type of precipitation you see and whether you see outages or not.”
Duke Energy restored power to roughly 350,000 people after the last winter storm.