Utilities brace for potential snow and ice this weekend

ASHEBORO – As locals make sure their cupboards are stocked and snow gear is located, energy providers are making sure they have enough spare power poles, transformers and wires as snow and ice are in the weekend forecast. Randolph Electric Membership Corporation has activated its Storm Response Plan and is currently monitoring winter weather advisories issued for its service area in Randolph, Moore, Montgomery, Chatham, and Alamance Counties.  Recent models from the National Weather Service predict significant snow and ice accumulation this weekend.

“We are preparing for a multi-day outage event,” said Randolph EMC CEO Dale Lambert. “We want our members to know that our employee and contractor teams are prepared and ready to respond when power outages start occurring.”

Duke Energy said their crews are preparing as well as they can for snow and ice that can have unpredictable results in the Piedmont. Duke said they are making sure they have enough poles, transformers, wires and other material to make repairs and rebuild their systems.

“The issue we are watching with this storm is the possibility of freezing rain falling on top of wet snow and adding additional weight on trees,” said Lambert. “We are preparing for a significant storm event and I ask our members to also make preparations. Plan as if you will be out of power for several days and have the necessities your family needs on hand.”

The precipitation mix and a few degrees difference in air temperature can change the impact of winter storms on power grids

With the probability of significant power outages, Randolph EMC line technician crews, member service staff and contract personnel are on stand-by to respond should power outages occur. Despite COVID concerns, Randolph EMC’s workforce is at full capacity, and all crews stand on alert. REMC has also called on utility crews from sister cooperatives and its contractors to supplement its workforce. REMC crews have fully stocked trucks with materials needed for repairs and tested equipment to ensure its readiness.

REMC encourages customers who experience a power outage to report it by calling 1-877-736-2633 (1-877-REMC-OFF).

By Randolph Record