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Archive for August, 2011

Progress Energy 2:00 pm Update

Monday, August 29th, 2011

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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HURRICANE IRENE: The scoop on debris removal

Monday, August 29th, 2011


CITY OF WILMINGTON: – Yard waste collection

Yard waste is normally collected once a week on the same day as trash collection for city customers, but because of the higher-than-normal amount of debris, crews may not get to all the yard waste on normal collection days. Extra staff will be on yard waste duty and crews will also be working on Wednesdays, which is not a normal pick up day, until yard waste returns to normal levels. Following are guidelines to make debris pick up faster and easier:
· Have items at the curb no later than 7:30 a.m. on the day of collection.
· Place small debris such as leaves and pinecones in containers or bags and put at the curb.
· Limbs may be no longer than 4 feet and no larger than 6 inches in diameter.
· Do not blow leaves and other debris into streets – the debris eventually reaches storm drains, which can cause flooding when it rains.
· Do not blow or rake yard debris directly into storm drains.
· Do not burn yard debris.
· Do not block public roadways or drivers’ vision with debris.
· Do not mix vegetative debris (limbs, leaves, etc.) with household debris (appliances, fencing, furniture, shingles, etc.).
· Do not place debris near mailboxes, fire hydrants, telephone and utility equipment, water meters, drainage ditches, or storm drains.
· City crews will pick up debris in public spaces such as sidewalks or medians but cannot pick up debris on private property.

Check these sources of information for further announcements:
Web: wilmingtonnc.gov
Facebook: facebook.com/cityofwilmington
TV: GTV on Timewarner Cable Channel 8 or live on city website
Phone: 910.341.7875


TOWN OF CAROLINA BEACH, NORTH CAROLINA STORM DEBRIS REMOVAL From August 29, 2011 through September 7, 2011, the Town of Carolina Beach will offer free pick up of storm debris resulting from Hurricane Irene. Residents do not need to call in for pick up. Please have debris curbside. Leaves, small branches and straw should be bagged. Large vegetation such as large branches and trees needs to be cut into 4 foot pieces. If you have questions, please call 910-458-2999.



The Town of Kure Bheach Public Works will begin picking up storm-related debris today, free of charge. No need to call Public Works to schedule this pickup. Please separate any vegetation debris from other storm-related debris and put at the curb. Any debris that is left at the curb that is not storm-related will be picked up on Thursday for a fee.


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Carolina Beach State Park slowly reopening

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Carolina Beach State Park is slowly reopening to the public after closing during Hurricane Irene.

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Smith Creek watershed sewage spill reported by CFPUA

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Approximately 9,900 gallons of sewage spilled into the Smith Creek watershed Saturday, according to the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority.

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Stay safe while cleaning up after the storm

Monday, August 29th, 2011


RALEIGH, NC (NCDHHS) -– As residents begin cleaning from Hurricane Irene, State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel advises North Carolinians to take extra precautions to protect their health and safety. Injuries from falls are common after storms as residents climb ladders to repair roof or tree damage.

“Falls are among the leading causes of unintentional injury and death in our state,” Engel said. “If you aren’t accustomed to working on a roof, it is best to get help. If you are doing the work yourself, have someone nearby to help steady the ladder and call for help if you fall.”

Clean up workers may be susceptible to heat-related health problems from overexertion in high temperatures. Take frequent breaks to cool down and drink bottled water or other fluids to prevent overheating. Opening windows or using fans can help reduce heat stress. Take care to avoid muscle strain when moving heavy items and debris. Flood-soaked items may weight much more than you anticipate.

If your home has been flooded, be careful when re-entering as flood waters may leave a coating of mud that makes floors and walkways slippery. If ceilings were damaged, wear a hard hat and safety glasses and avoid walking under sagging ceilings or bowed walls.

“People whose homes were flooded during the hurricane should assume everything touched by flood water is contaminated and will have to be disinfected,” Engel said. “Most clean up can be done with household cleaning products. The most important rule of clean up work is to wash your hands thoroughly and often, wear rubber gloves and, if possible, waterproof boots.”

If your home has been flooded:

Do not try to remove flood-damaged materials that may contain asbestos. Buildings built before 1975 may have asbestos insulation and tape on the heating systems. Leave any suspected asbestos in place until it can be removed by trained asbestos professionals.
Do not turn the power back on until the electrical system has been inspected by a qualified electrician. Standing on wet ground or floors can put you at risk for electrocution. If the pilot light on a natural gas furnace, hot-water heater or stove has gone out, have it re-lit by a professional.
Furnishings and fixtures made from absorbent materials will need to be discarded if they have been in contact with flood water, including mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets and padding, and books and paper products.
Clothes, bedding and drapes can be washed in clean, hot water with a disinfectant, or dry-clean them. Throw them away if they are moldy or mildewed.
If flood water soaked sheetrock, insulation or ceiling tiles, remove the items 30 inches above the water line. Paneling may be removed and saved, but wall cavities should be drained, cleaned, checked for molds, and dried out. Undamaged walls, hard surface floors and other surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected with a solution of ¼ cup of laundry bleach to a gallon of water.
Clean, disinfect, and dry linoleum or tile floors. Floor tile and linoleum can contain asbestos and should not be disturbed. Chipping or grinding these materials may release asbestos
Use a two-bucket method when cleaning. Put cleaning solution in one bucket and rinse water in the other. Replace rinse water frequently.

Mosquitoes increase in numbers after significant rain or flooding. In addition to being a nuisance, they also can carry a variety of dangerous diseases. Use insect repellant or wear long-sleeved clothing to protect yourself from mosquitoes and empty standing water out of birdbaths, tires, flowerpots and other containers to reduce mosquito breeding. Insect repellent will not work on stinging insects, like bees, wasps and hornets. These insects may have had their nests disturbed by storm damage and can become very aggressive trying to defend nest sites. Before beginning cleanup, survey the site to see if any stinging insects are hovering in the area and use commercial pesticide labeled for wasp and hornet use to get rid of them before entering.

Flood waters will move snakes and other wild animals out of their usual habitats and they may seek refuge in storm debris. Lift debris with sticks to check for hazards or wild animals before moving it. Domestic animals may become disoriented and agitated, posing a threat to people. If domestic animals need to be removed from an area, contact the county animal control office for help.

Avoid touching dead animals. Use gloves or a shovel to move dead animals, and then wash hands thoroughly. Contact your local health department about proper disposal of dead animals.

For more information on cleaning up after a flood, contact your local Emergency Management Office, local health department or Red Cross chapter. You can also get information from the following internet sites: www.dhhs.gov/hurricanes;www.fema.gov; and www.redcross.org.

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