RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Just one year ago, residents and businesses in Fayetteville, North Carolina, braced for the arrival of Hurricane Florence. The military community situated 60 miles south of Raleigh is no stranger to seasonal weather events, but no one could foresee the historic flooding and $24 billion in damage that occurred as the storm slowed down for an extended stay in the Tar Heel State.
The storm of a lifetime brought four days of unprecedented rainfall to Fayetteville, surpassing 10 inches at Fayetteville Regional Airport, and 18 to 20 inches in areas south of the city.
“What made Florence such a menace was its longevity,” said Mark Brown, senior customer programs officer, Fayetteville Public Works Commission. “We had up to 20 inches of rain in certain parts of our area and damage that left more than 50,000 customers without power.”
For years, Fayetteville PWC, the largest public power provider in North Carolina, practiced and refined emergency plans to be ready for an event of this magnitude. They knew that supporting their 82,000 electric customers through the hurricane would require the hard work of every staff member and the right technology to get service restored.
Fayetteville PWC reflects positively on their decision to deploy a smart utility network from Sensus, a Xylem brand. The solution improved communications and streamlined outage management during a critical point for the utility. Brown and his team were hunkered down in Fayetteville PWC’s Emergency Response Center when Hurricane Florence arrived. Each employee had an assignment, whether answering phones or updating social media. As the storm slowly made its way through the region, utility staff used their network to stay on top of the situation.
At the peak of the storm 15 of 35 substations lost service. Downed powerlines and toppled trees blocked streets. Mutual aid workers from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee helped Fayetteville PWC’s lineworkers restore service.
“We were able to act quickly because our system let us know exactly where to put boots on the ground,” said Brown. “We had 97 percent of customers who lost power back up and running within 96 hours.”
The network acted as a compass for Fayetteville PWC. The utility communicated regularly with emergency responders to help people in need during relief efforts. The utility’s efforts to communicate proactively with customers during and after the prolonged hurricane didn’t go unnoticed. Fayetteville PWC was honored with a North Carolina City & County Communicators’ (NC3C) Excellence in Communications Award for their social media communications during the storm. They reached nearly half a million people through social media posts.
Read the full case study to learn more about Fayetteville PWC’s plans to continue expanding its network to better serve customers.
Sensus helps a wide range of public service providers—from utilities to cities to industrial complexes and campuses—do more with their infrastructure to improve quality of life in their communities. We enable our customers to reach farther through the application of technology and data-driven insights that deliver efficiency and responsiveness. We partner with them to anticipate and respond to evolving business needs with innovation in sensing and communications technologies, data analytics and services. Learn more at sensus.com and follow @SensusGlobal on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. The Company’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced infrastructure analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. The Company’s approximately 17,000 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, with 2018 revenue of $5.2 billion, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands.
The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all – that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit us at www.xylem.com.