Raleigh, N.C. — As clean-up continued Monday after freezing precipitation slammed the Triangle and surrounding areas late last week, some North Carolina residents were still without power.
Residents in the Neuse Trail Estate community in Wake Forest had been without power for three days.
"I've got one little gas fireplace, and it managed to get the house up to about 55 degrees," said George Makatura.
More than 300,000 customers lost power in North Carolina during the peak of the storm on Friday and into Saturday morning.
According to Duke Energy, just 109 customers across North Carolina were still without power Monday evening – including 44 in Wake County and 30 in Johnston County.
As the chilly nights turn into cold mornings, resident Eddie Bland said he just hopes for a fix.
"You just hunker down," he said. "You get under blankets and quilts and you make the best of it."
Diana and Gary Stout echoed that sentiment. Gary, a disabled veteran on oxygen relies on the power for survival. Diana said she tried to call Duke Energy before the storm and was hoping to be placed on a priority list.
"They said they had to send me a form for the doctor to fill out and then it would take 30 days after that to get on the priority list," she said.
Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, said even if the Stouts were on the company's critical care list, they would not be guaranteed faster service.
"We always want to prioritize (these) customers when we can, but given the sheer number of outages, that's not simply not practical or possible," Brooks said.
Duke Energy said they estimated any remaining power outages would be restored by 11 p.m. Monday.
Safe practices during icy conditions
- Have a place in your home where flashlights, a battery-powered radio, and extra batteries can be easily found
- If you know the outage is coming, set aside extra water and buy or make extra ice. You can use the ice to keep perishable items cool
- Make sure the battery in your smoke detector is fresh
- If possible, use flashlights instead of candles for emergency lighting. Candles used in unfamiliar settings can be dangerous fire hazards
- Leave one light on so you know when the power returns
- Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. This will help keep your food as fresh as possible. Be sure to check food for signs of spoilage
- Use generators safely
- If you have a portable generator, only run it outdoors with adequate ventilation
- Never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. The exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled
- Listen to the radio for updates
- Your homeowner policy may cover spoiled food and other damages as a result of power outages, subject to the deductible. Check with your insurance company to see if your homeowner policy covers damages resulting from outages
- When the power goes out – many turn to candles for light:
- On average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day
- 1/3 of candle fires start in the bedroom
- Power Outages from storms increase the need for candle safety awareness
- Home heating equipment is second to cooking fires for causing home structure fires
- Avoid setting up a space heater too close to curtains, furniture, or decorations. Remember to keep at least three feet of clear space around it and set it up on the floor unless it is designed for other use
- Burn Wood in the Fireplace:
- Do not burn trash, cardboard boxes or debris in the fireplace
- These items burn unevenly and may cause a dangerous flash fire
- Damage can exceed $15,000, and the average runs $8,000
- Both plastic PVC and metal pipes freeze
- A trickle of water can make the difference
Damage from Ice/Fallen Tree
- Coverage typically applies when tree or limbs hits insured structure or vehicle
- If tree strikes nothing when it falls, there typically is not coverage for tree removal
Roadside and Vehicle Safety
- Ninety-six percent had at least one emergency supply in their vehicle, such as a spare tire or jumper cables, but only five percent carried all the essential emergency roadside supplies: hazard triangle/road flares, flashlight, first aid kit, water, blanket, etc.
- When clearing snow from vehicle, don’t forget the tailpipe. It can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when clogged