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Power Companies Remember Fran, Too

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A scene many can recall from the days after Hurricane Fran.
RALEIGH — The morning after Fran, many Triangleresidents awoke to the sound of chain saws. It became a vital part of onememory most of us will never forget -- the days we lived withoutelectricity.

Everyone learned a lot from Hurricane Fran including area powercompanies. They learned lessons which should make a recovery faster andeasier for everyone the next time disaster strikes.

During the storm and, for some, for days afterward, families huddledtogether listening to battery-powered radios by candlelight. Fran leftalmost a million people without power when she blew through. One of themwas Mammie Potter of Raleigh.

The Potter's power was out for nine days -- longer than most. Infact, CP&L had power flowing to most homes within just a few days. Howwere they able to move so quickly? Spokesperson Bobby Simpson says theyhad a lot of help.

There were crews from 14 states. Many of them worked around the clock.The Raleigh utility nerve center helped determine where the crews weremost needed. Simpson says that's where it all came together.

The system appeared to have worked well, but there was room for improvement. What did the power company learn?

And what have the customers learned? Potter says preparedness was thelasting lesson.

By the time the power company workers had finished 3,000 miles of newlines had been installed -- the equivalent of stringing powers lines fromRaleigh to Denver and back.

Reporter:David CrabtreePhotographer:Mark Copeland

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