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damage was the worst he has seen in his 38 years at the co-op. Tideland’s service area — particularly in mainland Hyde County, southern Beaufort County and eastern Pamlico County — was slammed more than most. In places, the storm surge lifted away entire houses, while others stood flooded in up to six feet of water. Access to Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks was next to impossible for more than a week. Large sections of the only highway to Hatteras, Hwy. 12, were washed away as the surging Pamlico Sound slashed new inlets for the ocean. All 7,581 electric meters were out. When the island’s 15-megawatt back-up diesel generator exhausted itself, Cape Hatteras Electric arranged to rent two 2-megawatt generators. With help from North Carolina Electric Membership Corp., the generation and transmission supplier owned by the state’s cooperatives, the big generators were shipped to the island on the temporary ferry service that state government had running from Stumpy Point on the Dare County mainland. By September 1, all Hatteras villages and residents had continuous electric service from diesel generators, though consumers were asked to use it sparingly. Nearly all electric service was out in systems maintained by CarteretCraven Electric Cooperative, Edgecombe-Martin County EMC and Roanoke Electric Cooperative. Most of the co-ops affected were hampered in their early restoration efforts by damage caused to major transmission lines that carry highvoltage power to substations that serve large numbers of members. In most cases, these transmission lines are owned by other utilities, including Dominion North Carolina Power and Progress Energy. Midday on Sunday, some 10,000 Edgecombe-Martin County EMC members had no electricity, and the co-op estimated 70 percent were affected by a Dominion transmission line outage. One of Tideland EMC’s steel transmission poles near the Walter B. Jones Bridge in Hyde County, built to withstand 130 mph winds, came down. Adding

Left: Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative billing support specialist Barbie Dixon packs sandwiches for “runners” to take into the field to feed lunch to 130-plus workers. (Lisa Taylor-Galizia photo)

Above: At work near Pinetops, Edgecombe County. Left: Utter destruction at Hickory Point, Beaufort County. Two giant generators go by ferry from Stumpy Point to Hatteras Island. (Michael E.C. Gery photos) Below: At work the evening of August 28 south of Farmville, Greene County. (photo by Pitt-Greene EMC member Woody Spencer)

Carolina Country OCTOBER 2011 9


Volume 43, No. 10, October 2011