Local News

Memories of Fran Become Lessons for the Next Time

Posted June 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— It cost Carolina Power and Light $100 million in manpower and equipment to fix everything broken by Hurricane Fran, but the utility says it's better off going into this storm season than the last. The company, along with many area residents, says the lessons learned in 1996 have turned into policies in preparation and practice for 1997.

It will be quite some time before the memory of Fran fades for North Carolinians. For Jerry Cooper, the memories are still vivid.

The race to restore power to area homes and businesses was a mad one with crews working around the clock to get lights back on, freezers humming and gas stations pumping.

CP&L Engineering and Operations Manger Bobby Simpson says the company is better prepared for disaster this year than last. In Garner and Aberdeen, for example, the utility has stockpiled tons of equipment. Last year, he says, five years worth of supplies were used up very quickly.

CP&L workers have now cut many tree limbs to prevent them from falling on power lines. In addition, according to Simpson, the company has taken steps to ensure that utility crews like the ones which came to our aid in the aftermath of Fran will be available more quickly next time.

That sounds good to Cooper who thinks /CP&L will be hard pressed to improve on their performance last year. He says the CP&L crews did a terrific job after Fran.

Photographer:Rick Armstrong