Progress Energy Carolinas was deploying more than 160 line and service personnel and other contract line and tree crews to assist an Oklahoma utility in restoring electric service in the wake of recent storms have dumped more than two inches of ice.

Company crews and contract line and tree crews were leaving from various locations around the Carolinas by early this morning, beginning the two-day, 1150-mile trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where nearly 200,000 homes and businesses are expected to be without power for seven to 10 days.

Company crews were leaving from operations centers and other company locations in the Raleigh area, as well as Wilmington, Asheville and Florence, and surrounding areas.

Progress Energy Carolinas is a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE), an organization of investor-owned electric utilities who work together to enhance performance and provide mutual assistance after major storms. On numerous occasions in recent years, SEE members have traveled to the Carolinas to assist Progress Energy in restoring service after ice storms and hurricanes. Likewise, Progress Energy has provided assistance to other hard-hit utilities through the years, notably after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

"Our customers have certainly benefited from the mutual-assistance agreements we have with our sister utilities - particularly after Hurricane Fran and the devastating ice storm of 2002," said Lloyd Yates, president and chief executive officer for Progress Energy Carolinas. "Likewise, we are committed to assisting our peers in their time of need, in an effort to get their power restored before the holidays."