Powering Up After an Outage - Carolina Country
September 2019

It’s hurricane season, and this time last year we were facing the potential for devastation as Hurricane Florence rolled ashore in our area. While we hope to be spared this year, it’s important that you are prepared for a hurricane and that you understand how we work to restore power after a major storm.

Brunswick Electric’s line technicians are storm-tested and ready to put their expertise to work for you after a storm rolls through our area. Our technicians follow a process to restore power as quickly and safely as possible to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time. Here’s how they do it:


As a distribution electric cooperative, BEMC does not generate our own power. We buy it through an agreement with North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation. The power we purchase is transmitted to us from the local generator of power, Duke Energy, through transmission lines. These substations and equipment rarely fail, but when they do, tens of thousands of people are affected at one time. Line technicians will assess and repair damage to the transmission system first.

Distribution Substations

These substations accept high-voltage electricity from transmission lines, and a transformer inside the substation lowers the voltage to a distribution level that can be pushed back onto our system through distribution lines. Line crews will assess and repair damage to these substations next.

3-phase power lines and single-phase taps

With almost 7,000 miles of line across our service territory, it can take crews several days to locate and repair all of the damage after a storm. Crews utilize every resource including boats, drones and helicopters to locate damage. Three-phase lines provide power to crucial services such as hospitals and water treatment plants, so it is imperative that they be restored as quickly as possible. Once this is complete, crews begin work on single-phase taps that lead to individual homes and businesses.

Individual Homes

Once all of the infrastructure is repaired and power has started flowing across our service territory again, from substations to power lines, crews turn their attention to damage around individual homes. They start at substations and work their way out, repairing damage one section at a time.

Learn more about the outage restoration process and the work that happens behind the scenes after a storm in our new episode of Tips & Tools, available at bemc.org or on our Facebook page.

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