Home » Utilities Tackle Power Restoration After Hurricane Irene
Utilities up and down the East Coast were rapidly making progress on restoring power to the up to 7.5 million homes and businesses that were reported without electricity after Hurricane Irene struck over the weekend.
No major damage was reported at East Coast power plants, but Constellation’s Energy’s Calvert Cliffs nuclear Unit #1 remained shut down after a piece of aluminum siding struck a transformer there. All nuclear plants in the path of the storm continued operating or safely shutdown in advance of the storm, according to reports from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Connecticut Light & Power reported having record outages in the wake of the storm, with outages in ever town and city in the state. The utility reported 650,000 without power Sunday, and 595,000 Monday.
Progress Energy, which reported total outages of 680,000 homes in the Carolinas, said 85% of the customers would have power restored by Monday. Dominion Power, which had its second largest storm event ever, reported it would have power restored to half of its 1.2 million customers in North Carolina and Virginia by Monday at noon.
Dominion, which appeared to have the greatest number of customers affected by the storm because of its large territory, said it would restore power to 90% to 95% of its customers by the end of the day Friday, and almost all customers should have power restored by Saturday. More than 6,000 workers were in Dominion’s territory making repairs.
"The damage caused by Irene was widespread. Trees and limbs brought down power lines and poles, and storm debris and flooding made it difficult to reach some work areas," said Rodney Blevins, vice president of distribution operations for Dominion.
Baltimore Gas & Electric reported 400 poles and 5,000 wires were down, initially leaving 700,000 without power. Power had been restored to half of those customers by Monday afternoon.
The Long Island Power Authority reported 500,000 customers without power at the height of the storm. LIPA expects that it will take “several days” to complete repairs and restoration because of flooding and unsafe conditions in heavily damaged areas.