Ice knocks out power in Cumberland, Sampson counties

Posted February 17, 2015

— Thousands of homes and businesses in Cumberland and Sampson counties were without power Tuesday morning after ice accumulated on lines there.

Duke Progress Energy sent about 40 bucket trucks from Raleigh to help restore power in the hardest hit areas in the eastern part of the state.

Utilities reported about 63,000 customers without power across North Carolina during the height of the storm, mostly in Sampson, Robeson, Bladen, Pender and Duplin counties, Gov. Pat McCrory said. By Tuesday afternoon, about 36,000 remained without power.

"Damage assessment and power restoration are underway and we're making good progress," Brett Carter, senior vice president of Duke Energy's Carolinas Delivery Operations, said in a statement. "We appreciate our customers' patience and encourage everyone to remain safe as we work to restore outages as quickly and safely as possible."

The company expects to have storm-related outages restored by 11 p.m. Wednesday. However, most customers will be restored sooner. There may be isolated, scattered outages remaining beyond that time, depending on individual cases.

Public school systems in Cumberland and Sampson counties decided just before 6 a.m. to cancel classes for the day. Schools on Fort Bragg were also closed. 

The City of Fayetteville delayed bus service until 9 a.m. and trash collection until at least 10 a.m. Any trash not picked up Tuesday will be handled Wednesday, a spokesman said. 

More than 3,000 customers of Duke Progress Energy were without power in Hope Mills. Smaller utilities around the area also reported outages.

More than 100 trees were reported down in Sampson County. In Fayetteville, isolated outages were reported on Forestview, Durant and Skycrest drives as well as East Hudson Street.

Authorities asked that those without power turn off appliances and other electric devices to avoid a surge when power is restored.

If you lose power:

  • Preserve cell phones batteries by closing apps not in use and lowering the screen brightness. Only use WiFi if necessary, and send text messages instead of making calls. 
  • Gather extra batteries for flashlights and skip open candle flames to avoid a potential fire.
  • Use gas or wood fireplaces for heat and light. Never light a charcoal grill indoors. 
  • Keep the refrigerator closed. Foods will keep safely for about four hours in a closed fridge and about 48 hours in the freezer.
  • To report a power outage, call 1- 800-POWER-ON or 1-800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress. If available, you'll get information on when the power is expected to be restored to your location.

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