Energy United: Snow storm causes power outages

(The following information is from Energy United.)

Statesville, NC - EnergyUnited crews are continuing to work to restore outages caused by last night's freezing rain and snow. Freezing rain and snow caused outages throughout EnergyUnited-s 19-county territory, with the most hard-hit counties being Davidson, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Stokes. At the peak of the storm overnight, approximately 21,000 members were without power. As of 7:00 a.m. today, just over 8,200 EnergyUnited customers were without power, with 3,500 of those in Mecklenburg; 1,000 in Davidson; 1,500 in Iredell and the remaining scattered in other counties.

The EnergyUnited service area sustained heavy damage, with downed power lines, broken poles and some equipment damage. In storms such as this one, with freezing rain, snow and high winds, power outages are most often caused by fallen trees and branches, making outages widespread and somewhat erratic.

EnergyUnited crews began working shortly after 8 p.m. last night and continued to work throughout the night to restore power. Cooperative line crews and contract crews will continue to work to restore the outages caused by the winter storm. Due to the extent of damage additional line crews from Pike Electric and neighboring electric cooperatives are also assisting in power restoration efforts.

"Replacing poles and rebuilding lines is very time consuming," said Steve McCachern, director of engineering services. "New poles, new transformers, cross-arms, insulators and wire -- all must be replaced," he explained. "However, we have highly trained professionals already in the field working to restore power. And, weather situations such as this also demonstrate that our diligent, year-round, right-of-way maintenance helps us keep storm-related damage to a minimum."

EnergyUnited reminds everyone that downed power lines and any object touching a line should be regarded as potentially energized and dangerous. Downed EnergyUnited lines and power outages should be reported immediately to 800-EUNITED (800-386-4833).