Widespread power outages are almost a certainty during hurricanes or winter ice storms. Fortunately for customers of Washington Electric Utilities, Washington is one of North Carolina's public power communities who have a proven track record of restoring electric service quickly after storms. As a storm approaches, local repair crews are put on stand by to be ready to respond quickly to problems. If local crews need additional help, Washington Electric Utilities can call for assistance from neighboring cities.
When repairing widespread outages, Washington Electric Utilities first fixes problems affecting many customers. For instance, a damaged substation can cut electric power to thousands of customers. When that substation is fixed, then damages affecting fewer customers, such as downed lines, can be repaired.
Components of the City's Electric System
Occasionally an outage may affect only part of a neighborhood; you may be without electricity while a neighbor has lights. This means that you and your neighbor are served by different distribution lines, transformers or circuits. Be sure to call the electric company to report that your lights are still out.
Before severe weather strikes you can protect electric service to your home or building by placing it underground. Restoring electricity to a single customer can be delayed when the electric meter or meter cables have been pulled away from the building. By state law, a licensed electrician must repair the connection before the city can cut the power back on.
Placing electric service lines to houses or buildings underground can protect them from wind damage. City electric customers can call a Customer Service Representative at (252) 975-9300 to arrange for installation of underground service.
Reporting Power Outages
Washington Electric Utilities customers should call (252) 975-9320 to report power outages. This number is answered locally 24-hours a day. During times of high call volume (such as during hurricanes), extra telephone lines are activated.
Here are some guidelines for reporting power outages:
- Call as soon as you are aware of the outage. Customer calls help repair crews locate damage.
- A busy signal means that operators are talking with other customers about outages. Please keep trying. Washington Electric Utilities needs to know about your outage too.
- Keep your comments brief. The operator must share your information with repair crews quickly to expedite repairs.
- State the address where the outage has occurred. You may be asked for additional information, including a telephone number.
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