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Progress Energy 2:00 pm Update

FROM PROGRESS ENERGY: Major Progress Energy outages as of 2 p.m. Aug. 29

Total Progress Energy customers out in North Carolina – approximately 82,700

Peak customers out 280,000 – 2 p.m. Aug. 27

Counties with 4,000 or more customers out as of 2 p.m.

County / Customers

Wayne / 8,900

Craven / 13,800

Carteret / 5,400

Nash / 8,800

Onslow / 9,600

Lenoir / 8,000

Franklin / 4,900

Beaufort / 4,600

Pamlico / 4,200

Fewer than 4,000 outages in numerous other counties in coastal and eastern N.C.

Progress Energy expects to achieve 85% restoration today; 99% by Wednesday;

Crews using boats, tracked vehicles to access remote, flooded areas with damage

RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2011 – 9 a.m.) – By midnight tonight, Progress Energy expects to complete restoration to 85 percent of the customers who were out of service at the peak of Hurricane Irene’s wind and rain Saturday afternoon. The company expects to have 96 percent of customers back in service by midnight Tuesday and 99 percent back in service by midnight Wednesday.

The company has restored service to more than 355,000 customers who lost power since Hurricane Irene began lashing the region with strong winds and torrential rains Friday afternoon. The highest number of outages at any one time was at 2 p.m. Saturday, with about 280,000 customers out as the storm churned on land.

By 9 a.m. today, about 94,900 customers remained without power, and an army of 1,200 line and tree workers and 1,000 support personnel – some from as far as Florida and Arkansas – is out in force, rebuilding power lines and other facilities.

Crews Sunday restored service to 17 high-voltage transmission lines, 28 electric substations and 18 points of delivery to wholesale customers, including municipally owned utilities and electric membership cooperatives in eastern North Carolina. Transmission crews expect to complete repairs to the backbone system today.

Damage assessment was impeded by Irene’s strong winds, which continued into Saturday night in coastal areas and the coastal plain. Restoration efforts have been hampered by severe flooding in many areas, and by the number of trees on power lines. In many remote and low-lying areas, crews have used helicopters, boats and tracked vehicles to assess and access damage.

The company’s estimate for complete restoration extends into Thursday for the areas with the most severe damage and flooding. Progress Energy focuses on getting the largest facilities back in service first. That allows for the largest number of customers to be returned to service the fastest.

In remote areas with extensive damage and flooding, crews often must spend several hours repairing many spans of line and poles to get one or two customers back in service.

Hurricane Irene made landfall Saturday morning near Morehead City as a strong category-1 storm. The storm pounded the area with strong winds and heavy rains for several hours before moving north. The storm also jogged to the west before its exit, bringing strong, sustained winds to the coastal plain, including the Goldsboro area, Nash County and the eastern Triangle. Due to the size and path of Hurricane Irene, Progress Energy crews were restoring service in parts of the Carolinas even as Irene was creating new damage.

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