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There are a lot of people who did a lot of things right as Brunswick County prepared for—and dealt with—Hurricane Irene.
As forecasters warned an ominous potential Category 4 storm could come to, or very close to the county, vacationers exited and residents headed to stores to stock up on supplies.
Emergency officials and volunteers prepared for immediate needs—from emergency shelters to medical care.
Brunswick County Emergency Services gathered and opened communications with towns and law enforcement to make sure everyone was on the same page as the storm grew near.
When towns’ officials announced voluntary or mandatory evacuations—and as high winds closed down bridges to Brunswick County islands—people responded in an orderly fashion, being sure to protect themselves and their families, while not endangering the lives of others.
All players in this disaster situation did exactly what they were expected to do—and exactly what those of us who entrust our safety to them hoped they would do.
But one group of men and women truly rose above all others in regard to service and commitment to community.
As winds howled and rain fell, throughout Friday and Saturday crews with Brunswick Electric Membership Corp. worked diligently to restore power knocked out by downed power lines caused by fallen limbs and trees.
It’s a dangerous job in even the calmest of weather, but these crews did great work under very trying circumstances. During the height of the storm, some 15,000 BEMC customers in Southeastern North Carolina were without power. As soon as it was safe to do so, crews got busy and by late Saturday afternoon, only hours after Hurricane Irene had passed by, power had been restored to almost all customers.
While advance planning, training and infrastructure are important to keep electricity on during severe weather, it’s the people who work for BEMC who deserve praise.
Thanks to each and every person who worked to keep our community safe during this storm, especially the hardworking crews with BEMC.
And don’t forget, we’re still in the middle of hurricane season, and we have several more months until we get an all clear.
Stay alert, Brunswick County, and let’s hope the next time a storm has its eye on us, we walk away prepared, safe and unscathed.