Power Outages Plague Triangle Area After Damaging Storm
Thousands of Durham County residents remained without power on Wednesday, two days after a severe storm swept through the region. The storm packed winds up to 72 mph and toppled trees across the area on Tuesday afternoon.
By Wednesday evening, over 18,000 Duke Energy customers in Durham County were still without electricity. Duke said full restoration could take until early Thursday morning.
With schools and businesses closed due to the outages, Durham County opened several cooling stations to provide relief from the heat. Temperatures hit 100 degrees in the Raleigh-Durham area Tuesday, breaking a daily record.
Duke called in hundreds of extra crews from around the Carolinas to help with repairs. But workers faced a complex situation with extensive damage to power lines and poles. In some cases, newly repaired lines failed again hours later due to problems elsewhere in the grid.
The storm came just over a week after a previous severe weather event left trees weakened. This likely contributed to the amount of damage across Durham County.
Residents expressed frustration as power flickered on momentarily only to go back out. Duke said such issues are common as repairs continue in the aftermath of major storms.
The outages forced Durham Public Schools to close for a second day on Wednesday. Durham Technical Community College also cancelled classes at one campus.
Local businesses like Foster’s Market resorted to generator power and could only take cash payments. But the community rallied to support local shops impacted by the storm.
Utility crews face a grinding effort to restore power across the county. But Duke said progress was being made, with large swaths of the region coming back online. They expect to have most customers restored within a day.