Central Electric crews are on standby to respond to outages that may occur due to snow and ice generated by winter storm Helena. As of Thursday afternoon, weather forecasters are predicting possible snow and mixed precipitation in the area late Friday into Saturday. The anticipated track of the area’s first winter storm of the year is still uncertain but officials are continuing to monitor the storm and its potential impact on central North Carolina.
Regardless, Central Electric is prepared to respond to outages that may occur due to the inclement weather. Everyone is encouraged to prepare for possible inclement weather ahead of time, keeping safety as the top priority. Use the following tips to remain safe during inclement weather:
- Snow and ice can potentially lead to downed trees and power lines. Avoid downed or dangling power lines and report them to Central Electric immediately. Never touch a fallen power line and treat all downed lines as if they are energized; never assume the line is dead.
- Alternate heating sources are great options to keep warm during a power outage, but exercise caution when using and never leave the heating source unattended. Make sure that all heating sources are properly ventilated and always read the manufacturer’s directions before using.
- Make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly.
- Refrain from using gas-powered ovens and gas or charcoal grills inside the home for heating. This can lead to fire safety issues and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If using a generator, never connect it directly to your home’s wiring or to power lines. The reverse flow of electricity can “backfeed” into the power lines and electrocute utility workers who are working on the lines. Also make sure all generators are operated outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home.
- Blankets, extra layers and warm drinks are a great way to stay warm.
- Have several days’ supply of food that does not need to be cooked. Crackers, cereal, canned goods and bread are good options. Five gallons of water per person should also be available in the event of an extended power outage.
Should weather conditions deteriorate in our area, crews are prepared to handle any outage situations that may occur. Please visit Central Electric’s Outage Center at CEMCPower.com to view an outage or for information on reporting an outage. Outages can be reported 24-hours a day by calling 1-877-766-6769.