Alabama Power company storm crews are headed home after standing ready to support Duke Energy as that utility presses forward with restoration activities in the Carolinas following Hurricane Florence.
Company distribution crews returned on Sunday from Georgia, with company transmission crews released to return home this morning. Company crews had been staging in that state, closer to the hurricane’s path but out of harm’s way, at the request of Duke Energy, to be ready to assist if needed.
A team of 1,200 people including Alabama Power company line and resident contract line crews, support and tree-cutting personnel, headed east last week to be ready to support restoration efforts, if needed. Alabama Power coordinates closely with other utilities through long-established mutual-assistance agreements. Under those agreements, Alabama Power stands ready to assist other utilities when needed, and other utilities are prepared to assist Alabama Power when natural disasters strike. The cost of assistance is borne by the company requesting help.
Some Alabama Power contract line and vegetation-management crews are continuing to assist Duke, as well as South Carolina’s SCE&G.
As of Monday morning, Hurricane Florence had been downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved through Virginia and West Virginia, but heavy rains were still affecting areas of the Carolinas. Sections of the Middle Atlantic and New England were on track to feel the remnants of Florence’s wrath in the coming days.
The storm’s unofficial death toll by Monday had reached 18, with several locations posting unofficial records for tropical cyclone rainfall, including a report of 35.93 inches near Elizabethtown, North Carolina, and 22.58 inches in Cheraw, South Carolina.
Flooding and rising waters were continuing to wreak havoc in the Carolinas, with some towns still cut off because of flooded roads, including Wilmington, North Carolina. Flooding on Sunday forced the closure of a 60-mile section of Interstate 95 north of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Schools across the Carolinas were closed today because of flooding and hazardous conditions.